Craig Beattie doubtful for Alloa clash

Craig Beattie is suffering a sore knee and is doubtful for this weekend.
Craig Beattie is suffering a sore knee and is doubtful for this weekend.

Dundee striker Craig Beattie is a doubt for Saturday’s game at Alloa after picking up a knee injury during last weekend’s Dens defeat to Cowdenbeath.

There were few players in Dark Blue who were deserving of pass marks against Jimmy Nicholl’s basement battlers.

The display was all the more disappointing for manager John Brown as he had kept faith with the same line-up that had won convincingly the previous week at Morton.

Now though, even if Beattie does shrug off his injury, the manager is set to shake things up for the visit to Recreation Park as he looks for a big reaction from his players.

He said: “We had out the exact same team that put in a great battling performance at Morton the previous week. We got a great result and they deserved to play again against Cowdenbeath.

“There will not be too many changes at Alloa but we will definitely be looking to see a reaction. Craig Beattie is our only doubt as he felt his knee a bit sore at the end of Saturday’s game. It will maybe give other ones who have been waiting for an opportunity their chance.”

Saturday’s loss to Cowdenbeath was Dundee’s second successive defeat at Dens following on from their Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Raith.

And Brown admits his side simply cannot afford to have too many more “bad days at the office”.

He said: “In the last two home games, we haven’t competed well enough with Raith and Cowdenbeath. We have got results this season through competing strongly. If you do not have that hunger and desire, you won’t win many games.

“It wasn’t for the lack of trying on Saturday but we were naive in certain areas.

“You can put it down as a bad day at the office. There hasn’t been too much damage done but we can’t afford to have too many like that or it will be a long, drawn-out season.”

Dundee will face an Alloa side on Saturday who are on a seven-match unbeaten run and Brown has briefed his team on just how difficult a game they are in store for.

He added: “We had a meeting with the boys this morning and we told them what was required against Alloa.

“We have had two tough games against them in the league and the Ramsdens. It took penalty kicks in both matches to get the better of them. Paul Hartley has them well organised and drilled. They are hard to break down and are in a rich vein of form just now.

“They have been getting some fantastic results and full credit to Paul but we have to bounce back from Saturday.”

Former club captain Stephen O’Donnell made his long-awaited comeback last week following a serious knee injury, playing 90 minutes for the reserves.

However, Brown is determined to exercise caution with the midfielder and will not risk him on Saturday on Alloa’s artificial pitch.

He said: “O’D will not be considered for Saturday. It is going to take time for him and I wouldn’t like to risk him through there.

“He is training hard with the first-team squad and hopefully he will become more involved in the games coming up. But it is a bit early to throw him in at the moment.”