They only played a few games together but even from working with him in training has told Dundee midfielder Jesse Curran keeping the ball away from Greg Stewart’s left foot could be the key to the chances of success at Kilmarnock today.
Former Dark Blue Stewart is enjoying his best start to a Scottish Premiership season with seven goals in 12 games so far in his season-long loan with the Rugby Parkers from Birmingham City.
And Curran believes that form makes him the main threat to the Dark Blues’ hopes of extending their current unbeaten run to five games.
“I know Greg very well. Obviously, I played with him only a handful of times in games but even in training every day you could see he’s just got a wand of a left foot,” said the 22-year-old.
“He’s a very good player. I’ve not trained with him for the last two or three years but he’s just got better and better.
“You have to be aware of him all the time and he’s the one to watch really. He can produce a bit of magic at any time in a game and you have to look after him.
“You always think, keep him off his left, keep him off his left but somehow he finds a way to get on it and then he’ll put the ball in the top corner.
“When he was here he always spoke to me and was good to me so it’ll be good to see him but we’ll be playing for our own teams today and that’s all we’ll be thinking about.”
Dundee head into this one with confidence boosted by that unbeaten run, while Killie will be looking to recover some pride after a 5-1 defeat at Celtic last weekend saw them knocked off the top of the table.
For Curran, that Parkhead result is irrelevant, and he’s expecting to be facing the team that’s repeatedly earned praise under manager Steve Clarke.
He also believes he and his Dundee team-mates have now earned the right to believe they can take points off any side.
“We don’t read anything into that result for them because Celtic can do that to teams and we expect them to be good.
“We’ve just got to concentrate on our own game and make sure that works.
“We go into the game with confidence coming from the way we played against Rangers on Sunday.
“If we work hard we can come out with something.
“I thought the first 20 minutes against Rangers we played really well and didn’t look out of place.
“I thought when we went 1-0 up that was us, we had a real chance but, obviously, the ref gave a decision against Nathan Ralph he felt was a red card.
“We had to take that on the chin and we stuck together as a team and I thought we defended very well.
“We worked hard for each other and got a result out if it (a draw) we deserved.”
As well as sound defensive work, Jim McIntyre’s team showed plenty fighting spirit to earn that point against the Ibrox side and Curran feels that will serve them well in what is set to be a testing week of Premiership action.
“It’s a big test of character because even with 11 men against Rangers it’s going to be tough.
“They are a very good team and they are going to come at you, so for us to go down to 10 men and get a draw, it was good to be a part of and enjoyable.
“Now, hopefully, we can get a point or even three at Kilmarnock before we have Aberdeen (Tuesday) and Celtic (next Saturday).
“We’ll concentrate on this one first and then the other two will take care of themselves.”