Julen Etxabeguren last night called on star striker Greg Stewart to be given more protection ahead of Saturday’s tough trip to take on Hamilton.
Stewart was forced to hobble off injured in Dundee’s last game, a 2-1 win over Motherwell, when Louis Moult was booked for a late lunge on the highly-rated forward.
Dens Park boss Paul Hartley feels opposition teams have been guilty of singling out the 25-year-old fans’ favourite and Spanish stopper Etxabeguren insists Stewart deserves on-field help from the officials.
He said: “I think players as talented as Greg need to be protected. If you don’t, then bad tackles can happen. That’s what we don’t want to see.
“I didn’t know Greg until I arrived here in the summer but I’ve quickly learned that he’s an amazing player.
“He’s really talented and we need him because he’s so important to us.”
Etxabeguren has been a stand-out since moving to Dens from East Fife and the former Real Sociedad ace is happy with his transition to the top-flight.
He said: “Everything is a jump. I was used to playing full-time football when I was in Spain.
“But changing from East Fife to Dundee is a big step, especially with the pace of the football and the quality of the players.
“I’ve have played against such quality opposition. I can’t single too many out because there have been so many good individuals.
“It helps me improve as a player too which is one of the reasons I came to Dundee.
“Personally, I feel I’ve been doing well and as a team too it’s been good. I feel we can still do better though which is a good thing in football.”