Dundee V St Johnstone at Dens Park Stadium : Match Preview

26 February 2013 07:01
Dundee V St Johnstone - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Brown demands a dedicated Dundee

John Brown starts life as Dundee's interim boss in Wednesday's game against St Johnstone and he is promising Dees fans that all is not lost in their bid to avoid relegation from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

The controversial appointment of the former Dundee and Rangers player has been widely discussed since the weekend with many Dark Blues fans not in favour.

With Dundee 15 points behind second-bottom St Mirren, however, the former Clyde boss has more to concern himself with ahead of the Tayside derby and claims he saw enough from the stands in Saturday's 5-0 defeat at Celtic to give him encouragement.

"All the players have got to show that commitment and showed that against Celtic," Brown said. "The effort the players put in against Celtic under the circumstances of the last week was remarkable. To look at the team and the way (assistant) Ray Farningham set them up shows I have something to work with.

"We haven't scored many goals this season but we created one or two chances and we have to create more. There is no point in sitting back and expecting to get draws because we need to win games. I have to get that into the players' heads.

"We could see out the season and pick up a few draws. But if you lose a few and win more at least you'll have a go. It is going to be difficult with the gap being what it is but I always believe that if you go into a game 0-0 you have something in the bag and I want the players to build on that.

One of Brown's first tasks will be to oversee a possible increase on a meagre tally of 14 goals scored so far this season, by some distance the poorest return in the division.

"I will be encouraging players to get into the final third and create chances," he added. "The reports I've had through the season are that up until the final third they are organised and the spirit has been good.

"The bottom line is quality. We can work with what we've got here but they've got to come up to the mark. It would be massive to win it just to give the teams above us a bit to think about. It could end up a very interesting run-in.

"We've got 11 games and we're going to have a go. I can guarantee you that. Everybody's got their livelihoods (at stake) and mortgages to pay. But I will be happy if the players come off the park, look in the mirror and say `I never left 10 per cent in the dressing room'."

Matt Lockwood is suspended after being sent off during the 5-0 defeat by Celtic.

Lewis Toshney returns to the squad after being unavailable for the game against his parent club but Dundee are still without Stephen O'Donnell (knee), Mark Kerr (knee), Jamie McCluskey (Achilles) and Carl Finnigan (knee).

Steve Lomas is happy for his side to play second fiddle to Brown, as long as they focus on the job in hand.

The Saints boss is looking for his team, fresh from a 1-0 win over St Mirren at the weekend, to keep pressure on second-placed Inverness, whom they trail by just one point.

"We have got to be professional, prepare ourselves right and stick to our game plan," he said. "We know that Dundee will probably get a lift, teams normally do in those circumstances. When a new manager takes over you normally see that in his first game.

"I don't know John Brown but I watched him as a player and he was a very good player, very under-rated and he has great enthusiasm. But we can only concentrate on ourselves and what we do."

Lomas does not discount the possibility of Dundee escaping the drop.

"It is possible," he said. "They still have enough points to play for and they are playing for places in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals, so there is a lot to play for."

Murray Davidson is suspended but midfielder Chris Millar returns after recovering from a groin injury.

Source: PA