Glen Kamara was on the wrong end of some rough treatment in Portugal but insists Tuesday night’s game against tough-tackling SC Farense will set Dundee up for a crack at the Betfred Cup.
The Dark Blues get the 2018/19 season under way this Saturday away to Stirling Albion in the League Cup group stage aiming to get off to a flyer and dispel any worries fans might have after two defeats in Albufeira.
Kamara was with the rest of Neil McCann’s squad as the Dens boss put his players through an intense week-long training camp in the heat of the Algarve.
And the Finnish international isn’t worried about being on the wrong end of a couple of scorelines in the past week – a 4-0 defeat to Portimonense in a training game and Tuesday’s 3-2 reverse to Farense.
The latter was a bruising encounter for Dundee’s players, with 22-year-old Kamara taking a few cynical kicks in the middle of the park.
He’s laid back enough to shrug that off, however, and says the competitive nature of that game will set the Dark Blues up nicely for the upcoming season.
He said: “It was like there was a cup at stake or something! It was a bit wild but you just have to get on with it and focus on what’s ahead of us.
“It was a good test playing in a physical game like that. It’s not always much fun but you get that sometimes and you just have to focus and make sure you don’t lose your game.
“You focus on your game and not what is happening around you.
“It was a bit rough. We tried to say that to the referee and, to be honest, he didn’t help the game at all. He didn’t control the game.
“It was a proper game, though. Maybe we shouldn’t have lost it.
“The new signings looked good as well and we’re all looking forward to getting going on Saturday.
“The couple of defeats in Portugal aren’t anything to worry about.
“Friendly games are just friendly games.
“The people who were across there will know the games were different than the scoreline suggests. We created some good chances.
“Obviously, we will learn from these games and go into the season fresh.”
The training facility where the manager put his players through their paces was an impressive place and, with everything the players might want or need at their fingertips in the Algarve, Kamara expects the squad to hit the ground running this weekend.
Dundee fans will also get a look at some of the club’s new signings for the first time in a competitive fixture and the former Arsenal man, who only joined the club himself this time last year, says new faces like Elton Ngwatala, Jack Hamilton and Jean Mendy have settled in well.
Kamara added: “The training camp was really good, training hard, working hard and just getting our fitness to where it needs to be is the main thing.
“It’s been a good week.
“It’s coming together, the new signings have been doing well, gelling together on and off the pitch so I think we’ll have a good season.
“Saturday is where it really starts. We can put Tuesday night’s game behind us and all that happened and concentrate on Stirling.
“It’s great to be back playing proper football again and everyone’s excited to get going.
“We’re looking to get off to a good, quick start and really want to do something in the cup.
“Hopefully, we can start that on Saturday at Stirling.”