Dundee V Hearts at Dens Park Stadium : Match Preview

26 April 2013 05:31
Dundee V Hearts - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Brown won't bow to drop threat

Interim Dundee manager John Brown was handed the job on a permanent basis on Friday but the new man insists the Dark Blues' time in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League is not up just yet.

The former Rangers defender took over from Barry Smith as a temporary measure in late February but the position is now his for keeps after signing a two-year deal.

The 51-year-old has lost just one of his seven league games in charge as he bolstered the fragile side left in the wake of Smith's sacking.

Three wins and three draws also reduced the 15-point deficit facing the Dens Park side at the bottom of the table on the day of his appointment to a 10-point gap now separating them from St Mirren.

A win for the Buddies at Hibernian, however, will send Dundee back to the Irn-Bru First Division but Brown believes his side could yet be playing top-flight football next term.

Asked if he thought he would be working in the second tier after the summer, Brown said: "No I don't.

"We are still fighting to stay in the Premier League. If we can take it another week and make a few people very nervous then great.

"People had us down a number of weeks ago. The players have shown the right attitude and managed to get results.

"We need to win tomorrow (Saturday) and then look elsewhere and see what the result is. But we're not out of it."

With just four games left, a Saints win at Easter Road or anything but a victory for Dundee at home to Hearts and Brown's first act as permanent boss will be to pick up the pieces from a relegation.

Meanwhile, Callum Tapping believes it is time he graduated to become a first-team regular at Hearts.

The 19-year-old midfielder claims his move from Hamilton to Tottenham in 2009 was like "going back to school".

And, after signing for the Tynecastle club two years later, he was mentored by former Gorgie favourite Paul Hartley during a loan spell at Alloa earlier this season.

Tapping has been in and out of the first team since returning to the Jambos in January, but has since become part of Billy Stark's Scotland under-21 plans.

Ahead of the trip to Dundee, he looked forward to taking the next step in his career.

He said: "It has been a good year for me. At the start of the season I didn't expect to play as many games as I have done.

"Trying to maintain a place is hard but I am enjoying it.

"My aim is to be a Hearts regular at one point, I would love that and to get there would be great.

"Alloa was a great experience. I realised straight away it was different from playing youth and under-20s football and with Paul Hartley, who is a Hearts legend, it was always good.

"Every game and every week, he was giving me bit of advice, letting me know what I should do to do better and what he thought would help me to progress and it helped."

Danny Wilson's thigh injury makes him a doubt for the clash at Dens Park.

Michael Ngoo is still suffering from the shoulder injury which forced him off just after the break against Kilmarnock last week.

Manager Gary Locke is hoping the striker declares himself fit, while 16-year-old defender Jordan McGhee could be added to the squad.

Source: PA

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