Dundee captain Charlie Adam is looking to get one over Tayside neighbours St Johnstone – but insists the Dark Blues’ Scottish Cup clash with the Perth men is not a derby.
Saints come to Dens Park today with both sides seeking progress into the last 16.
The stakes are high but Adam says that stops at football, with no local bragging rights on the line.
For Dundonian and dyed in the wool Dee Adam, there is only one derby.
‘The derby for us is across the road…they are the big games for us’
The 35-year-old said: “It is not a derby. There is only one derby for us.
“This is just another game for us against a club that has done well under Tommy Wright winning the Scottish Cup.
“They have now won the League Cup, are in a good bit of form and have a couple of decent players.
“But the derby for us is across the road and they are the ones where, if you get an opportunity to play against your rivals United, they are the big games for us.
“This is not a derby for us – it is just another game in the Scottish Cup.”
Dark Blues focused as they go into clash with high-flying Saints
Despite their success in making the top six and winning the Betfred Cup, Adam also insists the McDiarmid Park men are not an inspiration for Dundee.
The former Rangers, Liverpool and Scotland man says the chance of lifting silverware is the only motivation the Dee need.
“We don’t take inspiration from anybody else,” he said.
“We look at ourselves and what we can do within the walls of the stadium and what we can control.
“We know if we can be more consistent than what we have been, then we will have a chance of getting promoted.
“I don’t look at anybody else and think if we do that then we will end up like that. We focus on ourselves.
“We are a good football club and we will look to win games between now and the end of the season. Hopefully, that Dunfermline result (3-2 win) coming back from 2-0 down can spur our season on.
“Obviously, the Scottish Cup is something different and if you get through you might have an opportunity to play one of the Old Firm or an Aberdeen where it is another big challenge.”
Dundee go into the cup meeting as underdogs to Premiership St Johnstone and Adam reckons it’s a role that could suit his side.
Regardless of the opposition, playing at Dens in a one-off tie makes it a level playing field for the midfielder and his team.
“We played Hibs earlier this season and did well for 60 minutes. We lost a couple of bad goals but in the second game we lost 1-0 but played well in that so there is nothing to fear,” he added.
“It is not as if we are going in against Celtic or Rangers – something like that.
“We are playing St Johnstone. We are confident and have a good side on our day.
“Listen, they’ll be worried as well. They’ll be sat thinking: ‘Right what are they going to do? They are going to cause us problems if we are not at it’.
“We just have to worry about ourselves. If we win it, we are into the next round and we will take that into a run of games in the league where it is important we win a few matches.”
Double at Motherwell and Spartans pitch among Adam’s Scottish Cup memories
Due to spending much of his career down south with the Reds, Blackpool, Stoke City and Reading, Adam doesn’t have much in the way of Scottish Cup memories.
He often wasn’t involved in the Gers’ glories but does have experience in the competition as a young player on loan at St Mirren in the 2005/06 season.
“I don’t have too many actually,” he tried to recall.
“My recollections of the Scottish Cup would probably be more of being at St Mirren when we beat Motherwell 3-0 and I scored two goals.
“We had played Spartans on a Sunday afternoon and I remember the park we played on but that’s the enjoyment of the Scottish Cup as you don’t normally get to go to these places so it is different.
“We played Gretna as well but we lost 1-0. We probably should have won that.
“But I don’t really remember too much about playing in the Scottish Cup for Rangers.
“Listen, the tradition is there, the history of the Scottish Cup is massive and it doesn’t matter if you are playing at Rangers, Celtic or Annan, Alloa it still has the magic.
“It is a big game and there is always a buzz about the place.
“It is just a shame there will be no supporters here as there would have been a decent crowd.”
Captain Charlie raring to go after spells on the sidelines
Adam hopes to take to the pitch this afternoon feeling revitalised after enduring recent spells on the sidelines through Covid-19 self-isolation and suspension.
It’s been a difficult period for the Dee’s talisman but he has been impressed with how the team have performed in his absence.
Adam commented: “It has been a frustrating few weeks, missing the games with Covid and then trying to get back to a fitness level where I was able to go and compete.
“The last couple of games I have been on the bench and then I was suspended.
“But that is over with and the focus is on now and the end of the season to win as many games as we can to get into the play-offs.
“I will be trying to get back into the team as the lads have won a few games, so I just have to be ready and hopefully the opportunity comes today.”