New signing Adam Legzdins will go straight into the Dundee squad for their Betfred Cup clash tomorrow at Hibs with manager James McPake expecting a “good fight” for the No 1 spot at Dens Park this season.
The 33-year-old former Burnley, Birmingham and Derby County goalkeeper signed a short-term deal yesterday after a brief trial.
McPake also revealed he’ll continue to assess former Ross County defender Liam Fontaine next week after he also arrived at the club looking to win a contract.
The Dens gaffer said: “Adam is one who came on our radar a while back and I spoke with Kieran Westwood who I’d played with at Coventry and he spoke very highly about him.
“He has played in the Championship in England and the lower leagues as well. He’s just had three years at Burnley where he didn’t get the games he would’ve liked but to be training in that environment and working with the type of goalkeeper they have there tells you what he’s got.
“I know enough to know he’ll add to us.
“For Hibs, we need to be careful with him because he’s only done a few days training with us.
“But he’s keen. He had a couple of offers in England to go in as second or third choice but he knocked that back.
“He’s 33 now and wants to get out and play.
“We have two other goalkeepers here, though, so it’s not a given. He’ll have to work hard and that will be a good fight.”
With some of his budget freed up after the departure of midfielder Graham Dorrans, McPake is also on the lookout for a centre-back.
With Jordon Forster out with a broken foot and Lee Ashcroft absent following a positive test for Covid-19, full-back Cammy Kerr has had to step into a central berth in recent games.
The Dens boss is thankful to Kerr for that but is keen to bolster his options in that position.
That’s seen Fontaine, who left Ross County at the end of the transfer window in October, come in for a trial.
The 34-year-old former England U/20 international has plenty of experience of the Championship, having played three seasons for Hibs – joining the club shortly after McPake left for Dens Park in 2014 – and then being part of the Ross County side who won the division in 2019.
McPake said: “Liam Fontaine is training with us.
“I know a lot about him playing up here, I played against him and he’s got lots of experience.
“You can see we are at the bare bones in that position with injuries and illness. Those can happen at any point and it could’ve happened to Ashcroft and McGhee at the same time.
“Liam left County at the end of the window but he’s looked good in training.”
Meanwhile, the Dundee boss is looking forward to making his first return to Easter Road tomorrow since leaving Hibs six years ago.
The Hibees were relegated the season McPake left for Dens Park and didn’t return to the top flight before the 35-year-old hung up his boots.
This will be his first test against them since becoming manager last summer and McPake has challenged his side to ensure their place in the Betfred Cup knockout stages.
The Dark Blues have nine points from their first three games, as do Hibs, which should be enough to progress but it’s not guaranteed.
“We need to get out the group, there’s still work to be done because it’s important we get through,” said McPake.
“We got through last year and had a good game against Aberdeen where we were unfortunate but we got to test ourselves. Sunday will be a real test again.”
He added: “I’ve never been back since moving to Dundee, apart from to watch games. They were in the Championship and by the time they got back up, I was done.
“I had a great two-and-a-half years there and enjoyed it but Dundee is my club and we go there looking forward to the game.
“We looked at the fixtures and knew we’d need nine points to have a chance of progressing. We’ve got that and now we have a chance of topping the group.”