Jekyll And Hyde, The Dundee Version
I think it’s fair to say that since the end of the Scottish Premiership winter break, Dundee have served up a mixed bag of results that have seen us celebrate an unlikely victory, curse our luck at losing a game that we should have won and then act disgruntled after yet another humbling defeat from a lower league team in a cup competition.
We kicked off 2019 with a home tie in the Scottish Cup against Championship mid-table side Queen of the South. As per our recent form in any cup competition when paired with a team out of the top flight, we struggled and were lucky to take the tie to a replay. More on that later.
Then in a total night and day performance, Dundee visited Tynecastle midweek and surprisingly, left the capital with all three-points.
It was a massive victory for the Dee and one that moved us back off the bottom of the table, much to the delight of the fans. Hearts did try their hardest to level the score after we went 2-1 ahead but the Dee stood strong and when the final whistle was blown, it was a well-deserved victory.
With that win still fresh in our minds, our bogey team Motherwell visited Dens Park hoping to secure a fifth straight win against us on our own turf.
We started the game well and were by far the better team on the pitch. We created a host of chances that if on target, would have resulted in us taking the lead but a combination of poor finishing and some excellent blocks by the Motherwell defence kept us at bay before the inevitable sucker punch.
On-loan Crystal Palace defender Ryan Inniss needlessly clattered a Motherwell player in the box despite his opponent going the other way from goal and losing the ball. It was a needless and utter shambolic challenge which would result in our opponents scoring the only goal of the game.
It was a hard defeat to take. The team had put the effort in and they were rightfully applauded off the park but when it comes down to cold, hard facts, this was yet another defeat for Dundee. The chance was there to move out of the relegation zone for the first time since, well, god knows when. Inniss’s challenge that led to the penalty gave Motherwell an unlikely lead but the cause of this defeat for me will lie on the shoulders of our front men’s inability to put the ball on target which would have seen us out of sight way before our moment of madness at the back.
On to our fourth fixture in a week and a half and it was time to settle this Scottish Cup tie against Queen of the South.
Our backs were up after a few improved outings but any hope we had would be absolutely walloped out of us in a night to forget. The warning signs were there when defender Darren O’Dea was given a central midfield role to marshall against a team who I felt came out on top in the middle in our initial clash a week earlier.
If anyone had used a Stan Laurel head scratching GIF to reply to this news then fair play as I think we were all mimicking the comedian ourselves.
Nonetheless, he did nearly get on the scoresheet when he headed a Roarie Deacon free-kick against the post. But, it was still ludicrous that he would find himself being placed in that position when we have midfielders still on our books, regardless if they have been told they can leave the club or involved with a potential transfer to join a team they have just signed a pre-contract with.
That was our only highlight really before it all went south for us. Queens (and former Palace) striker Stephen Dobbie scored a worldie and not long after, Ryan Inniss would produce another brain fart with a short pass back that Dobbie lapped up to make it two-nil and he was hooked not long after. Our nightmare reached its peak when our other centre half Kusunga also tried a short pass back which was again intercepted by that man Dobbie to make it three.
There are no excuses for me. Queens deserved this win. Hell, they deserved the win back at Dens.
The most frustrating thing about this all was seeing these two centre backs resort back to costing us dearly after commanding displays against Hearts and Motherwell and how we can compete against teams at a higher level but see our arse collapse against a team who struggle to even mount a challenge to finish fourth in the Championship.
So, that was that after another pathetic cup run for Dundee. Some fans were rightfully angered but after following this club for as long as I have, are you even surprised when you look back on our cup record in any competition? It might be a bit defeatism on my part but when results like this happen, I’m hardly surprised.
It wasn’t the ideal result leading into this weekend but it is what it is and we will need to try and dust off the scent of shitebaggery that Wednesday has left on the team and go out and secure the victory in a must win match away to Hamilton.
Hamilton have just sacked their manager but may have a new face in the dugout before our fixture on Saturday. Regardless of if there is or isn’t someone new in the managers chair, the team MUST come away with the win.
Three-points will see us leap over Hamilton to tenth place and sit two-points above them and if results elsewhere go for us, there is the possibility we can find ourselves away from bottom of the table St Mirren.
There is lots at stake here. The manager and players owe it to the fans after the shambles of our cup exit to give us the win. There are no ifs or buts here. Only a win will do for me!
MON THE DEE