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Newcomers Dundee ravaged by injuries
Dundee manager Barry Smith has called on his injury-hit side to dig deep and pick up their first win of the new season in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match with St Mirren at Dens Park.
The Dark Blues are down to the bare bones with no fewer than five first-team players sidelined through injury for the visit of Danny Lennon's side.
Dundee will be minus skipper Stephen O'Donnell (groin) and fellow midfielders Nicky Riley (hamstring), Kevin McBride (foot) and Jamie McCluskey (Achilles), along with striker Carl Finnegan (knee).
The SPL new boys are preparing for their first top-flight home match in seven years with Smith challenging them to overcome adversity by securing the three points to get the campaign off to a flier.
Smith, who has Davide Grassi available after receiving international clearance for the former Aberdeen defender said: "We're very thin on the ground in terms of numbers because of all the injuries.
"But that's just the way football is at times and we have to deal with it and get on with the job in hand.
"We're relying on our togetherness within the squad and team spirit to get us through a time like this.
"We've always had a strong dressing-room and that's what you need when you've got injury problems like we have right now.
"It's not ideal obviously but I've got players who I know will fight every inch of the way to try and get the right result."
Dundee made a solid start on their long-awaited return to the SPL with a goalless draw at League Cup holders Kilmarnock last week.
Smith was full of praise for his players and now hopes to see them build on their Rugby Park display for the visit of the Buddies.
He said: "It was a positive start down at Killie, although that's all it was.
"We worked extremely hard as a team and there were a lot of positives to take into Saturday's game with St Mirren.
"The one thing we have to try do is create more opportunities in front of goal.
"Hopefully we can do that and then we can take things on a bit from where we left off at Kilmarnock.
"It's nice to be able to bring SPL football back to Dens Park and we're all really looking forward to our first home game in a long time.
"St Mirren are a good side with a lot of talented players but we'll concentrate on ourselves as we always do.
"Hopefully the fans turn out in good numbers again as the players always respond to the good atmosphere."
Goalkeeper Chris Smith has returned to St Mirren as cover for the injured Grant Adam.
Lewis Guy is banned for two matches following his red card in last week's SPL opener against Inverness.
Jim Goodwin, Steven Thompson and Marc McAusland return from suspension, while Graham Carey has recovered from a calf injury.
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