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James McPake confident Dundee can handle pressure and escape relegation trouble

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 2022-01-28
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Dundee manager James McPake vowed they would handle the pressure of their survival battle and get out of relegation trouble.

Dundee ended a run of six consecutive cinch Premiership defeats when they drew 0-0 with bottom club St Johnstone on Wednesday.

McPake’s side are two points ahead of their Tayside rivals but there is a gap of four points to the team above them, Ross County, as they look to get out of the bottom two.

Saturday’s visit of eighth-placed St Mirren offers the chance to drag the Buddies back into the fight but defeat would see the Paisley side moving 11 points ahead.

McPake told Dee TV: “We are in pressure games but would we rather this than fighting at the top end of the Championship to get promoted?

“Give me this pressure all day because we are going to get out of this. We are going to work night and day, on the training pitch, to get the right players in.

“We’ve got a great backroom staff who are working ever so hard, we’ve got Gordon (Strachan), who is a great voice to go to, we have got John (Nelms) and Tim (Keyes), who back us with signings. We are going to get this right.

“We need to stay in this division. First and foremost consolidate in this division and then build for the future, and we are starting to do that with the signings of the likes of Zak Rudden on pre-contracts.”

Dundee have three home games in a row now with Dundee United and County due to visit Dens Park next week.

McPake felt a point in difficult overhead and underfoot conditions in Perth was a good platform, especially with the likes of Shaun Byrne, Charlie Adam, Leigh Griffiths and new signing Niall McGinn getting much-needed game time.

“It was something to build on and we move on back to Dens,” he said.

“We are desperate to get back to Dens. The surface is great, it suits us, and the fans get behind us.

“Niall got minutes into his legs, Charlie looked good when he came on, coming back from his injury, another 90 for Shaun. Griff got 78 minutes and he put in a really good shift. He is working hard.

“If we put in the same level of work-rate, heart and desire, and we get it right with the quality we have got, then we are going to get out of this because what I can guarantee is that we are going to fight and scrap for everything and our quality will shine through.”

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