Dundee midfielder Shaun Byrne says the Dark Blues have to be wary of a new-manager bounce after former team-mate Mark Kerr took the reigns at Ayr United.
The Dens Parkers take on the Honest Men tonight in the Championship aiming to put last weekend’s 3-1 home defeat to Partick Thistle behind them.
Having already beaten Ayr in the league this season, Byrne knows only too well how difficult it is to get the better of the side second to leaders Dundee United only by goal difference.
He told the Tele: “I think Ayr are one of the best teams in the league.
“They play good attacking football and have just appointed a new manager so we have to be wary of a lift with Mark Kerr being appointed.
“They have a lot of good attacking players and we’ll need to be right up for it tonight.”
A former Dundee player himself, Kerr takes charge of his first match as a manager at 7.05pm tonight.
Byrne was a youngster at Dunfermline back in 2012 when the 37-year-old signed for the second half of the campaign and revealed he learnt a lot from the experienced midfielder.
“I was at Dunfermline in the Premier League when he signed late in the season,” Byrne added.
“He was really good with me.
“I was just a young boy on the bench and he did a lot of work with me as a midfielder and gave me a few pointers.
“I’ve kept in touch with him and he’s a right good guy.
“People at Dunfermline said he and I were alike in the way we played and he looked after me a bit, gave me tips when I was young.
“I’m glad he’s got the job down there, hopefully, it all goes well after tonight.”
Despite last week’s late collapse against bottom side Partick, Byrne insists there’s positives to take out of the 3-1 loss.
And he says they have to show they have learnt from the mistakes that proved so costly.
He added: “I’d say the first 40 minutes were probably the best we’ve played this season, we created chances, moved the ball and controlled the game.
“Partick had a wee spell before the break but then the second half was really poor on our behalf. They started on the front foot but weren’t really carving us open so to then concede three goals late on was really disappointing.
“You want to dominate the full game but, no matter who you are playing against, they will have spells in the match.
“For us, I think we need to be more ruthless when we’re on top.
“If we’d have gone and gotten that second goal, I think that would have helped a lot last Saturday. We created numerous chances and it was disappointing we didn’t take them.
“You need that second goal to get a wee cushion. This league has shown that anybody can beat anybody. If you’re not at it then the game can change in minutes so you’ve got to be on your game. Losing the game the way we did last week was really tough to take.
“The league is crazy – you’re top of the world one week and we were in that position for 85 minutes last Saturday then 10 minutes later we are gutted.”