Dundee under Tony Docherty are the epitome of hard work.
It’s clear that plenty of hard work has gone in on the training pitch.
And they are seeing very real results on the pitch as a consequence.
Defensively they are so hard to beat.
Rangers last week is the only time we’ve really seen them ripped open.
Get that toughness in the backline and you can grind out draws and wins.
That only comes from proper hard graft on the training pitch.
They’ve got some really solid defenders, players in front of them who work hard too.
And a top goalkeeper behind them.
Trevor Carson showed again why Tony Docherty was so keen to get him in the summer.
— Dens Park Choir (@DensParkChoir) November 5, 2023
His save in stoppage time was superb.
And earned the clean sheet – his fifth in the Premiership this term.
What a difference that makes to the defence knowing they’ve got that sort of safety blanket behind them.
In my day at Dens we had Rab Douglas bailing us out if something got past us.
That sort of confidence breeds throughout a team.
You know in a game like Sunday that no matter how well you defend, there will be a shot or two that gets past you.
The one in question ended up deflecting off Antonio Portales and heading towards the other corner.
But Carson was equal to it.
There are moments you have to rely on your goalkeeper.
When you don’t have that trust in the man behind you, it can cause more problems than you think.
It’s a team game but part of that team requires every player to concentrate on their own jobs, doing their bit to contribute to the whole.
If there’s a part of the team, especially in defence or goal, where there is concern it affects other performances.
You need 100% concentration on your own job but if you’re not fully confident in another part of the team, that will inevitably mean you have to concentrate on someone else’s job.
So you really can’t focus fully on what you have to do.
As a defender, if you think the goalkeeper needs protecting more than usual, you drop deeper and are far more wary in your play.
Dundee don’t have that problem.
They know Carson can deal with it.
They have also built up confidence in each other as a unit in a very small space of time.
Don’t forget this is a pretty new defence but they haven’t played like it.
With that in mind, I think they can get even better.
Dundee are sixth right now, that bodes well.
Meanwhile, it’s great to see so many big names coming along to Cammy Kerr’s testimonial.
He deserves a big night for what he’s given to the club and guys like Fabian Caballero, Juan Sara, Julian Speroni and more will bring real excitement.
It promises to be a cracking night at Dens.