Dundee boss Jim McIntyre is hoping to reward the club’s loyal fans for sticking with the team by securing the first home Premiership win of the campaign against Hamilton at Dens tomorrow night.
The Dark Blues’ only league victory in this season of strife so far came on the road at Accies back in September.
However, a defeat in the next game against Kilmarnock sealed Neil McCann’s managerial fate with McIntyre taking over at the helm.
He lost his first four matches in charge but has steadied the ship by picking up draws in the last two games – at Dens with St Mirren and then at Easter Road against Hibs two Saturdays ago – with his players having to come from behind in both fixtures.
Now, McIntyre is looking for bottom-of-the-table Dundee to finally win at home to give the fans something to cheer about and to close the eight-point gap on 10th-placed Accies again after Martin Canning’s side beat the Buddies at the weekend.
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The manager said: “I think the head-to-heads with the teams around about you are so important.
“We are at home and we want to build on the couple of good performances we have had against St Mirren and Hibs and take that a stage further and get the win.
“Results give you confidence, there is no doubt about that.
“It backs up what you are doing on the training ground so we will look to take it that stage further because it is so important that we try to get the three points.
“Obviously Hamilton had a very good result at the weekend and they have stretched a wee bit further ahead of us.
“So it is a chance to claw those points back.”
He added: “The punters can play a massive part.
“It is important that we are making sure we are attacking teams and putting them under pressure to get the punters off their seats and excited. It is a two-way street that.
“The fans here were great for most of that game (against St Mirren). We had gone behind and it would have been easy to get on the players’ backs but they could clearly see we were trying to do the right things.
“Their backing was excellent and it would be nice to reward them with a win at home.”
That target will be made more attainable if Dundee can take the lead with McIntyre saying: “Without a shadow of a doubt.
“You just need to look at the stats for scoring the first goal and going on to win the game, they are very high.
“We’ve shown character in coming back in the last two matches so the boys deserve credit for that but we want to make sure we are taking the lead in games and going on to try to score more goals.”
Accies are renowned for their fighting qualities and McIntyre acknowledged that his team will have to match the opposition in that regard if they hope to go on and win the game.
He said: “Of course. Every game, you need to win the battle first before you are allowed the opportunity to play.
“So we will pick a team that we think can go and hurt Hamilton.
“You always know you are going to be in a game but they have some good players as well.
“We have to try to nullify their threats.
“I was at their game on Saturday and they did well.
“It was a tight match between the two sides and I don’t expect it to be much different here.”
Dundee will once again be without Josh Meekings who is set to have a hip operation but there was better news on Benji Kallman and Roarie Deacon as they recover from knee and thigh injuries respectively.
McIntyre said: “Benji is flying in his rehab and he did a bit of light training with the physio today.
“Roarie did that as well so it is good to see them back on the training ground.
“Hopefully they can join in with the rest in the next few days.”