Dundee boss Jim McIntyre is bucking the trend by predicting an open encounter when St Mirren visit Dens.
The general consensus seems to be that tomorrow’s basement battle between the rock-bottom Dark Blues and the Buddies, who sit just one place and a point above them in the Premiership, is so crucial to both clubs that will be a tight, tense affair, with flowing football taking the day off.
McIntyre does not share that view, however.
As well as calling on his own players to be brave in their play he thinks the Paisley men will have a go too.
The logic is that both teams will be so desperate to seize the initiative and pile pressure on their rivals that they won’t sit back.
McIntyre said: “I think they (St Mirren) will come and try to win the game.
“I don’t think they will be cagey at all.
“We have spoken about both teams suffering from (a lack of) confidence due to not having enough positive results but I watched their game against Rangers and they played really well, especially in the first half.
“You can clearly see there is spirit in their camp and I expect them to show that when they come here.
“We have to show the togetherness we did at Motherwell while also improving the final product and not gifting the opposition opportunities.
“This is about who handles the game better because there is similar quality in each side.
“I am confident we have enough big-game players in our squad who have been in these type of situations before, whether it be playing in cup finals or being involved in tough games at the bottom of the table.
“We have umpteen players who have faced those scenarios.
“So we must make sure that we are brave and positive with our passing.
“We have to look to make passes that hurt them rather than play safe.”
While the spotlight will be on the frontmen to come up trumps this weekend – Dundee have now gone 440 minutes without scoring – McIntyre keeps stressing that goals should be coming from a variety of sources.
The Dens boss added: “If you look at it the strikers haven’t had a lot of chances so what we have been working on is trying to make sure we are giving them opportunities.
“We also need defenders to be scoring at set-plays and midfielders to be getting goals from open play.
“There needs to be more shots at goal because you can’t walk the ball into the net.
“So goals need to be coming from all over the park.
“We have had a really positive training week and I can clearly see the players are starting to get what I’m after.
“So it’s about transferring that on to the pitch.
McIntyre brought both new recruit Martin Woods and the experienced Paul McGowan off the bench during the 1-0 loss to Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday.
It would be reasonable to suggest that both men will start in midfield against the Buddies but McIntyre wouldn’t show his hand.
He said: “They are still a wee bit short I would say but that is a decision that will be made nearer the match.
“There is a possibility it could happen. Both are in contention.”
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