Dundee can sign off year in style against St Johnstone says Cammy Kerr

Cammy Kerr grapples with Michael O’Halloran during the last Tayside derby in September, which earned the Dens Park men a 3-2 home victory over hosts St Johnstone.

Cammy Kerr doesn’t want to see a repeat showing of Dundee’s “tentative” side as they prepare for a Tayside derby determined to finish 2017 off in style.

The Dark Blues were comfortably swept aside at Dens Park on Boxing Day by champions Celtic, who went 11 points clear with the 2-0 victory.

And vice-captain Kerr says he felt some of his team-mates were on “different wavelengths” from each other — and that’s something they certainly don’t want to repeat at St Johnstone today.

He said: “I just felt there was something missing in the performance on Tuesday.

“Workrate and application was there but the final bit of belief to go and make something happen in the game wasn’t there for us.

“It’s disappointing because we were off the back of a good result against Partick and a well-fought draw against Motherwell, so we had plenty of belief going into the game that we could get something.

“It was a frantic kind of game. When Callum McGregor hit the post early doors, we got a let-off and maybe that scared us, I don’t know.

Dark Blues defender Cammy Kerr.

“We were just a bit tentative I think in our play. Sometimes you have days like that but it’s important you keep trying to make things happen.

“I felt sometimes one player was on a different wavelength to another.

“We don’t want it to occur again.”

Kerr and his Dee team-mates have already tasted victory against Tommy Wright’s Saints this season. Back in mid-September, the Perth side were beaten 3-2 at Dens and also suffered defeat in the Tayside derby this time last year as Dundee ran out 3-0 victors with an excellent home display.

This time, the clash is at McDiarmid Park but Kerr is keen to relive the feeling of finishing up before the winter break with a result.

He added: “We beat them at Dens so, hopefully, we can take the same sort of application we had in that game and go to a tough venue and get something.

“St Johnstone are well drilled and have the same sort of base of players they’ve had for a number of years.

“But I think we know how to exploit them. We know their dangers as well.

“You want to sign off the year in good style and go into the break with a smile on your face.

“I feel that’s so important we do that.

“If we get a victory or a hard-earned point, whatever it may be, and come away with something, it gives boys a wee sense of optimism going into the break and we can come back refreshed raring to go.”

One thing the Dark Blues certainly need to do is not allow themselves to feel down after the defeat to Celtic.

Recent weeks have shown good performances and the 22-year-old wants to see his side get back to that, with the Celtic game only a bump in the road.

“This league is so difficult,” Kerr added.

“One week you’re on a pedestal so high and the next you’re so low.

“It’s so important we don’t get too downbeat about Tuesday and take wee things we could have done better and move on to a massive game against St Johnstone.

“On Tuesday, I don’t think their keeper was really troubled, which was disappointing, because we want to make as much work for the keeper as possible.

“I don’t know where I’m sitting on it, I’m a bit on the fence because we battled away but that’s not always enough especially in a game against Celtic where you need to raise your game.

“You need to make sure you fight your corner but I don’t think we were at it on Tuesday.”