Dundee manager James McPake is hoping for a hat-trick of set play heroics from his team when they face St Johnstone.
The Dark Blues host the newly-crowned Betfred Cup winners at Dens Park on Saturday in one of the ties of the Scottish Cup’s third round.
McPake’s men go into the tricky-looking fixture against in-form Saints with a lot of momentum themselves, having roared back from two goals down to beat Dunfermline 3-2 in a dramatic Championship clash on Saturday night.
That followed on from a comfortable 3-0 win away to Alloa eight days earlier.
Both matches were graced by well-worked goals scored by the Dark Blues via set pieces, with Lee Ashcroft’s head getting on the end of Paul McGowan’s corners.
The combination has yielded three goals for Ashcroft himself, while another of his headers off a McGowan delivery was saved by Pars keeper Owain Fon Williams before Danny Mullen tapped in the loose ball.
There is no doubt that canny Saints boss Callum Davidson will have that particular threat written down in his notebook for the cup-tie, but McPake will still be hoping they can still hurt the Premiership top-six side.
The Dundee boss said: “We spend a lot of time on them and set plays are huge in football.
“You see games won and lost because of them all the time.
“It was a set play that enabled us to get a foothold against Alloa in the game the other week.
“Then we got back to 2-2 against Dunfermline thanks to one before our winning goal, which was also scored from a set play.
“So they really are important.
“I would be lying if I was standing here and taking any credit for that because it is about good deliveries and players being brave.
“I think that is now two good wins for us now going into what is a massive Scottish Cup tie, with St Johnstone coming here.
“They have had a great season under Callum and made the top six and won a cup so it’s going to be a test of our character again.
“However, I know we will work hard again and show the belief that we have been doing.
“It is one I am looking forward to.”
McPake admitted, looking back, that the Dunfermline match was a must-win for him and his players and is delighted that they passed that formidable test.
He added: “It think it was a must-win but you would never come out and say that before the game as you would fall flat on your face if you didn’t win.
“Then you would be looking for answers.
“But, with these last two results and the way it’s being going for the players, we are looking forward to Saturday.”