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Dundee V Aberdeen at Dens Park Stadium : Match Preview
Published : 28 Dec 2012 19:01:14
Dundee V Aberdeen - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Smith focusing on the positives
Dundee manager Barry Smith believes his side can take heart from their Boxing Day defeat to Celtic ahead of their Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Aberdeen at Dens Park.
The struggling Dark Blues went down 2-0 to Neil Lennon's men to leave them nine points adrift at the foot of the table.
But they competed with the Hoops for long spells in the match and Smith insisted the display provided cause for optimism
He said: "It's not as though we were heavily defeated or anything like that.
"Looking back we gave a good account of ourselves in the Celtic match so we have every right to take confidence from that into the Aberdeen game.
"We lost to a quality side, but we have to move on and we can do so with a bit of encouragement.
"We all want to get off the bottom of the table so this game with Aberdeen can't come quickly enough for everyone concerned."
Dundee midfielders Nicky Riley and Iain Davidson are set to return having missed out against Celtic through injury and suspension respectively.
Skipper Stephen O'Donnell has suffered no adverse reaction to his long-awaited comeback from a hamstring injury midweek and Lewis Toshney is free to play after being ineligible for the game against his parent club.
But the hosts are still without Steven Milne (stomach), Davide Grassi, Carl Finnigan, Mark Kerr (all knee) and Jamie McLuskey (Achilles).
Craig Brown has warned his Aberdeen players not to underestimat Dundee.
Brown was unhappy with the 4-1 loss at Motherwell on Boxing Day, but believes his side can start to accumulate points to consolidate their top-six position entering the winter break.
The Dons' challenge at Dundee, who are nine points adrift at the foot of the table, is boosted by the availability of Stephen Hughes, Rob Milsom and Ryan Fraser following injury.
Brown said: "The lads have been left in no doubt that the result the other day was unacceptable. We must atone for that.
"We know that Dundee will be up for this game. They're running out of fixtures and other clubs above them are picking up points, so they have to get a response.
"After a good performance against the Old Firm they'll be fairly confident.
"We've got to make sure they don't get a result against Aberdeen. But my concern is not Dundee. My concern is keeping Aberdeen in contact with the top, because I genuinely feel with everyone fit we've a great chance of going on an unbeaten run.
"We're in a good position if we can get points over this holiday period."