Dundee hoping defensive pair will be OK for crunch St Mirren clash

Darren O'Dea had to go off at Fir Park
Darren O'Dea had to go off at Fir Park

Dundee are hoping their battered centre-backs will be fit for Saturday’s vital clash with fellow-strugglers St Mirren.

Darren O’Dea and Andy Boyle were both forced off in a bruising weekend defeat down at Motherwell.

O’Dea had to go off early in the second half after suffering a second head knock of the game and that could leave him doubtful for this week.

Boyle, though, is expected to be OK despite having to have several stitches inserted in a cut that was courtesy of an injury-time challenge at Fir Park.

“He has a gash on his knee. I don’t think there’s any intentions, just two pros going for the ball. He’ll be OK, it just needed a few stitches,” said boss Jim McIntyre.

“Darren took a knock and there was a bit of blurred vision, so we couldn’t take any chances there. He was struggling to see and tried to continue.”

The 31-year-old’s condition will be monitored over the next few days before a decision is made on whether or not he can be considered for Saturday.

And Jim suspected O’Dea’s enforced departure just short of the hour mark was a factor in the only goal that decided the game in ’Well’s favour, though there was no denying the quality of David Turnbull’s long-range strike.

“It wasn’t great because it upset things a wee bit,” he added. “When you think about the way the goal happened as well, one of our centre-backs has got to get to the ball.

“Before that we are in good possession in the wider area and we get robbed.

“We make a poor decision when it’s on to play a forward pass. They take the quick throw-in and we’re caught with men up the park.

“Just a wee bit of naivety there has come back to bite us on the backside.

“That was really disappointing, but there were a lot more positives from this game, a lot like I expect us to play in terms of doing your jobs and doing the ugly side of the game.”

While he felt the performance was much better than those in his opening three games, the gaffer stressed the need to start picking up points.

“It’s going to take them a wee while to get used to what I expect and the demands that are going to be placed on them every day, not just in the games. They are starting to get to grips with that but we need to pick up results as well because we don’t want to get detached.

“It’s important we go and get a result this week.”