Dundee 1
Heart of Midlothian 2
League (Premier League)

1 - 2

League (Premier League)
Sunday, December 29th, 2002
Dens Park
Attendance: 7,340
3:00 PM Kick-off

Steven Milne (57)
Andy Kirk (42)
Graham Weir (80)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Craig Levein

Starting Eleven
12. Julian Speroni
13. Zurab Khizanishvili
3. David Mackay
19. Lee Mair
2. Barry Smith
26. Garry Brady
8. Gavin Rae
7. Fabian Caballero
25. Steve Lovell
15. Steven Milne
17. Nacho Novo
Roddy McKenzie .13
Stéphane Mahé .3
Alan Maybury .2
Steven Pressley .4
Kevin McKenna .5
Jean-Louis Valois .11
Scott Severin .6
Steven Boyack .12
Neil MacFarlane .21
Mark de Vries .9
Andy Kirk .10

1. Jamie Langfield
14. Gavin Beith
21. Steven Robb
11. Mark Robertson
24. Neil Jablonski
20. Craig Gordon
16. Stephen Simmons
39. Graham Weir
18. Austin McCann
14. Andy Webster

Mark Robertson for Garry Brady (46)
Steven Robb for Steve Lovell (62)
Graham Weir for Andy Kirk (75)
Stephen Simmons for Steven Boyack (83)

Fabian Caballero (90)
Stéphane Mahé (35)
Steven Pressley (73)
Stephen Simmons (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Kenny Clark (Referee)
Stewart Shearer & Steve Pullar (Assistants)
Calum Murray (Fourth Official)

Match Report

A third successive defeat made it an unhappy festive period for Jim Duffy's side.

It was all the more disappointing because, Steven Milne got the side back on level terms after Kirk had given the visitors the lead. But Weir struck 10 minutes from time to

score the winner and put a damper on New Year celebrations. Jim Duffy couldn't call upon either Jonay Hernandez or Lee Wilkie after their ordering-offs during the Boxing Day defeat by Aberdeen.

Dave Mackay returned despite an injured shoulder and striker Steven Milne, who impressed Duffy by scoring four for the Under-21's against St Johnstone, was recalled to the side as Barry Smith continued in central defence to where he had reverted after Wilkie's dismissal against the Dons.

If Hearts had the early pressure, it was Dundee's Fabian Caballero who created the first real chance of the game when he fooled the visiting defence with his footwork before firing an angled drive that spun wide of the post.

Julian Speroni made his first save of the match after 21 minutes when Andy Kirk raced through, and blocked his shot, with strike partner Mark De Vries only denied from netting the loose ball by a lunging challenge by Lee Mair.

Shortly afterwards, a long ball from Alan Maybury again put Kirk one-on-one with Speroni, but the goalkeeper blocked once again.

But Hearts did find the net with three minutes of the first half remaining. Former Dens Parker Steven Boyack played a hopeful ball into the area. Lee Mair and Zurab Khizanishvili dallied which allowed Kirk to sneak in and knock the ball home from inside the six-yard area.

However, twelve minutes into the second period, Dundee were back on level terms when Stevie Milne met a Dave Mackay cross to nod a neat header past McKenzie.

Unfortunately, home concentration was trained on the aerial threat from De Vries as a corner broke to Graeme Weir and his powerful shot beat Speroni for Hearts' winner.

Indeed, it might have been worse had substitute Stephen Simmons not seen two late efforts cleared off the line!

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at December 29th, 2002)

2002-03 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)23 25 - 46 -
Zurab Khizanishvili21 8 - 34 -
David Mackay21 24 - 421
Lee Mair22 14 - 14 -
Barry Smith28 24 - 2911
Garry Brady26 151151
Gavin Rae25 23320721
Fabian Caballero24 2458021
Steve Lovell22 188188
Steven Milne22 1427613
Nacho Novo23 235235
Mark Robertson (sub)25 4 - 31 -
Steven Robb (sub)20 9 - 10 -

League Table (as at December 29th, 2002)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

This is the last home game of the year and as I am unable to make comment on any of the two games played earlier this week, I am taking this opportunity to reflect on an eventful six months since my return as manager.

And I have to admit that I am generally happy with the way things have gone. The players have certainly shown a very good attitude and there haven't been many games where, if we haven't won, we have been in with a shout of doing so.

Certainly the players have worked very hard and it has been a real team effort with everyone working very hard for everyone else.

And whilst the team may not be as gung ho as prior to my arrival, conceding that we are perhaps not so flamboyant as before, I don't really feel that we have sacrificed too much flair.

Obviously like any new manager, I have brought in new players. Nacho Novo was a done deal before my arrival, but the way the likes of Steve Lovell, Tom Hutchinson and Garry Brady have settled in has been pleasing.

With Garry at 26 the oldest, it means that we have a nice balance in the team of age and experience, and the newcomers have blended in well, helped by the lead of the more experienced players such as Barry Smith and Gavin Rae, but everyone has contributed to a satisfactory first half of the season.

If I was writing a half term report, it would read, "Steady progress has been made, but we know there is still room for improvement."

As to the remainder of the season, I want to see us continuing the same vein towards a very useful platform for next season, so whilst I am generally satisfied with the progress thus far, there is no danger of me getting carried away with things.

We have as you all know a very

difficult festive programme. After meeting Celtic away and Aberdeen at home this week, we now face Hearts and the two meetings so far have been very close.

After perhaps being a shade unfortunate not to win here on the opening day of the season, we edged through against them at Tynecastle. Both were entertaining games and knowing Craig Levein and Peter Houston as I do, they will be coming to Dens with the sole intention of returning with three points which should make for yet another enjoyable encounter.

With so little between most of the teams in the SPL, it is all about who performs on the day and if we do, then there is no reason why we shouldn't win, but the same equally applies to Hearts.

Finally, as this is the last programme of them old year, I would like to take this opportunity of wishing everyone a very Happy and Prosperous New Year and look forward to seeing you all here after the break.