Dundee’s Josh Meekings insists he will relish the physical battle when Motherwell come calling at Dens tonight.
The Steelmen will arrive in buoyant frame of mind after beating Rangers on Sunday at Hampden in the semi-final of the Betfred Cup.
It was a fiery, bruising encounter that also saw the respective managers being sent to the stands as emotions boiled over.
Meekings expects more of the same from Motherwell this evening but the centre-half will meet fire with fire as the Dark Blues look to bounce back strongly after Saturday’s disappointing defeat against Partick Thistle at Firhill.
The 25-year-old said: “I think Motherwell were very good against Rangers. They showed they are a big, strong, physical side.
“They were going to try everything to win the game. They showed what they are good at.
“They seem to have a good team spirit but I believe we have enough in our dressing-room to overcome that.
“Listen, I don’t mind the physical side of it – it is a part of my game as well.
“They are coming to Dens and we have to make it a fortress, a hard place to come to and that’s what we will be aiming to do.
“They will bring their physicality so we will have to match that and then try to outplay them on the football side of things.
“I think if you look across our dressing-room there are enough boys in there who can look after themselves.
“We will take care of it on the night.”
When asked if he felt Dundee could take advantage of any Motherwell cup hangover, Meekings replied: “I don’t really want to think about what they are feeling after the semi-final.
“We have come out of a game at the weekend where we felt we should have got something better so we just want to look at ourselves and making sure we are ready to go.
“I believe that if we do what we can on the night, then we will prove a point and put our stamp on the game.
“Motherwell will come here on the back of a good result and they will probably be positive. There will be good vibes throughout their camp but I think we have enough in the dressing-room to change that.”
Motherwell made it through to the Betfred Cup Final thanks to two goals from Louis Moult, a striker Meekings knows well.
The former Inverness defender said: “I have played against him plenty of times.
“Everyone has seen how good a player he is. His goals at the weekend, one was a poacher’s finish and the other was a great strike.
“He has come on a lot and his goal-scoring record speaks for itself recently.
“He is a great player and that is something we will have to look at stopping.
“If we can do that, then hopefully we can get the three points.”
Dundee are doubly determined after coming away empty-handed from Firhill despite creating a barrowload of chances.
And Meekings admitted he was so perplexed by what happened in the 2-1 defeat, he watched the game again on Saturday night on TV.
He added: “It was so frustrating at Partick. I felt we dominated the game, had large amounts of possession and some great chances.
“Then we got sucker punched with two sloppy goals at the end which killed us really.
“So I went away and watched it myself on Saturday night. I just wanted to see exactly how it happened. It was hard to watch as you get 70 minutes in and you wonder how we ended up losing the game.
“I was so frustrated and just couldn’t believe what had happened. I felt we were comfortable and they didn’t deserve much.
“But that’s football and it is nice to have a midweek game to get it out of the way and put things right.”
When asked if Dundee need to be more streetwise to see out games, Meekings commented: “It is difficult to say as we were still creating so many chances.
“You get to the last 10 minutes and perhaps you are saying, ‘They have got their equaliser so we will sit behind the ball and take a point’.
“Maybe we have to look at that. As a defence, we conceded two poor goals and it has cost us.
“So you do have a look at that and see if you could have done something different. We will work on that on the training ground and hopefully that will not happen again in the future.”