Dundee 1 Scunthorpe United 2: Dark Blues remain upbeat despite finishing trip with defeat

Jordon Forster.
Jordon Forster.

Dundee defender Jordon Forster declared their spell in the Spanish sunshine a big success despite signing off with a defeat.

The Dark Blues lost 2-1 to Scunthorpe United at La Manga in the final friendly of their stay in Murcia.

That won’t burst the team’s bubble, though, with Forster insisting everything is looking good for the start of the competitive season.

The centre-back said: “It has been successful.

“It has been really beneficial, with loads of running sessions and plenty of football.

“Also, as a team we have proved in tough fixtures against Nottingham Forest and Scunthorpe that we are capable of some decent performances.

“Going away on a trip like this can really work because you work yourself hard in training, get some good nutrition in you and get to bond with the lads who will be your colleagues next season. You get to know what makes people tick.

“The facilities have been second to none.

“Now we move on to the friendly against Blackpool on Tuesday.

“I have to say that it is a really short pre-season in Scotland and it’s like you are trying to compress four or five weeks’ work into two.

“So it’s important that things are done in a way that is really structured and that’s the way it has been happening.”

Manager James McPake looked at the bigger picture and, like Forster, gave the Murcia stay a resounding thumbs-up.

The Dundee gaffer said: “I am absolutely delighted with the trip and we have had two very encouraging performances now against first Nottingham Forest then Scunthorpe.

“Our kids didn’t look out of place and one of the main things for me about the trip was getting them integrated into the squad.

“It is my first trip so it’s definitely my best so far!

“Seriously, you come over here and you want everything to go well. I think it has done so.

“We have used the time well and the boys have had three sessions a day at times.”

Moore’s injury is a worry and McPake wished him a speedy recovery.

He said: “We hope he is OK because he has worked really hard and played really well for us.”

Watched by their new technical director Gordon Strachan at La Manga yesterday, Dundee nearly took the lead after just 25 seconds when they swept up the right.

Max Anderson’s shot seemed to go through the Scunthorpe keeper but it was cleared before it made it over the line.

The Dark Blues fell behind on 10 minutes, though when Scunthorpe’s Olufela Olomola fired into the net from close range.

Midfielder Paul McGowan levelled for the Dens men just two minutes later when he blasted home from 25 yards.

With 32 minutes gone, it was 2-1 to the English side when Matty Lund squeezed a shot between Dundee keeper Calum Ferrie and his near post.

In the second half, Dark Blues’ youngster Lyall Cameron had a shot blocked when in a good position on 64 minutes.

Craig Curran had a strike on the turn saved on 76 minutes as the Scots looked for an equaliser.

The Dens men were reduced to 10 men for a spell in the closing stages after Callum Moore suffered a calf injury. They battled on until Anderson, who had been substituted, returned to the pitch.

There was no further scoring and the players got some respite from the heat when the referee blew the final whistle.

Meanwhile, Dundee boss McPake laughed off reported interest in Aberdeen striker Stevie May.

He said: “I would love Stevie May!

“He’s a great player and, hopefully, he will in training with us on Monday…”

Dundee: Starting team: Ferrie, Kerr, McGhee, Ness, Byrne, Nelson, McGowan, Forster, Marshall, Anderson, Mulligan. Subs: Hamilton, Meekings, Todd, McDaid, Curran, Robertson, Moore, Cameron, Fisher.