Paul Hartley looking for home comforts against St Johnstone
Boss Paul Hartley is hoping Dens Park helps Dundee finish the year “in good style” with a win over St Johnstone on Saturday.
A 2-0 defeat by Partick Thistle on Wednesday night was the Dark Blues’ fourth successive loss away in the Ladbrokes Premiership and left them in ninth place, three points above bottom side Inverness.
However, Dundee have won three of their last four home matches and Hartley wants to keep that form going against their fifth-placed Tayside rivals in the last fixture of 2016 before the winter break.
He said: “We want a good reaction against a difficult team whose away form has been excellent.
“We know we are in for a difficult game but it is one we are looking forward to, as our home form has been good of late
“We have taken 10 point from 12 at home so we go into it with a lot of confidence.
“It is important for us to put ourselves in a good position in January where you want to challenge for the top-six and be away from the bottom
“We are nine behind St Johnstone, if we win we go six behind.
“That is the incentive for us, to try to finish this year off with three points.”
St Johnstone midfielder David Wotherspoon feels they should take confidence from their ongoing success against Rangers, Aberdeen and Hearts as they bid to break into the top four.
Saints remain unbeaten in six Ladbrokes Premiership games against the three teams directly above them in the table following a midweek draw against Rangers, having previously beaten Hearts in the league and Betfred Cup.
Wotherspoon said: “We are looking to close the gap on the teams above us and create a bigger gap on the teams below us. We have done well against teams above us, Hearts scored in the last minute to equalise and we could have won up in Aberdeen. On Wednesday night we showed we can battle with the teams above us.
“We just need to keep that consistency. We went through a bad patch but we are on a good patch at the moment. If we can win this weekend, that will set us up for a good break and we will come back with a lot of confidence.”
Wotherspoon admits a Hogmanay Tayside derby is a special way to end 2016.
“Being a supporter, it’s one you relish and look forward to playing,” he said. “I’m sure they will be up for it and the fans will be going along to give their support, like they did on Wednesday night, they were unbelievable.
“I’m sure I went to Dundee a few times when I was younger, but mainly it was McDiarmid Park when I went to watch. But they are always good games to go to. There are a few derbies on the day and we will be focused and ready to go.”