Dundee 1
Heart of Midlothian 2
League (Premier League)

1 - 2

League (Premier League)
Tuesday, January 6th, 2004
Dens Park
Attendance: 6,387
7:45 PM Kick-off

Duncan McLean (80)
Mark De Vries (47)
Alan Maybury (83)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Craig Levein

Starting Eleven
1. Julian Speroni
6. Lee Wilkie
2. Barry Smith
3. David Mackay
16. Jonay Hernández
18. Brent Sancho
30. Mark Fotheringham
26. Garry Brady
17. Nacho Novo
Duncan McLean
24. Neil Jablonski
Craig Gordon .13
Alan Maybury .2
Steven Pressley .4
Andy Webster .6
Patrick Kisnorbo .20
Phil Stamp .8
Neil MacFarlane .14
Paul Hartley .18
Jean-Louis Valois .11
Andy Kirk. 10
Mark De Vries .9

22. Derek Soutar
27. Callum MacDonald
34. Dougie Cameron
21. Steven Robb
15. Steven Milne
Teuvo Moilanen .1
Graham Weir .21
Robert Sloan .23
Robbie Neilson .16
Dennis Wyness .17

Steven Robb for Neil Jablonski (69)
Steven Milne for Duncan McLean (85)
Robert Sloan for Phil Stamp (12)
Robbie Neilson for Jean-Louis Valois (53)
Dennis Wyness for Andy Kirk (76)

Lee Wilkie (66)
Paul Hartley (52)
Mark De Vries (67)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)

Match Report

Duncan McLean's first goal for the top team was scant consolation as Dundee slumped to a fourth successive home defeat. In fact the Dark Blues haven't won a Bank of Scotland Premier league game since Fabrizio Ravanelli's debut against Partick Thistle back in the middle of October. It's a run which has seen them slump from 5th to 11th in that period and their cause wasn't helped ahead of the delayed visit of Hearts by the unavailability through injury of Lee Mair.

His loss added to the longer term absence of Tom Hutchinson and Steve Lovell meant that the Dark Blues were down to the bare bones. With Bobby Linn unavailable too, there was a first place in the squad this season for Steven Milne, who started on the bench. Neil Jablonski came in for Mair as Dundee shuffled their remaining personnel with Brent Sancho partnering Lee Wilkie at the back. Duncan McLean was on instead of Bobby Linn.

Hearts have been in third place for most of this season and they started well, pushing Dundee back and Speroni had to make a double save from Northern Ireland international Andy Kirk in the early stages, the Argentinean should in fact have held the first effort and would have been glad that Wilkie's tackle meant that the follow up shot lacked power.

The visitors caused Dundee a good few problems early on but as half time approached the Dees began to dominate, though Nove was the only player who looked likely to cause the Jambos defence real problems.

Dundee had began to look the part in that period but they were caught cold just a minute and a half after the interval. A neat move down the right anded with Maybury in space and his fine cross was met by a downward header from de Vries which gave Speroni no chance.

The Dees fought back and the game got a bit heated at times, Hartley, Wilkie and de Vries picking up bookings. Substitute Steven Robb, on for Neil Jablonski, fired a shot over following a comer from the right and with ten minutes to go there came a dream moment for McLean, Novo chased a through ball and although he was denied by Gordon the rebound fell to McLean who rapped a low drive through a crowd of players and home

The 6000 plus crowd had stayed behind Dundee well and they urged Dundee forward in search of a win, but three minutes after that McLean goal the Dark Blues were behind again.

Neilson picked up a throw on the left and hit a low pass to Maybury who slid home a left foot shot from just inside the box.

Now it was the visiting fans turn to sing and they showed their delight when McLean's 25-yarder curled wide of the target. That was the striker's last contribution, Steven Milne, coming on for his first action since pre-season, seconds later. There was more of a scare for Hearts with time running out as Barry Smith smashed in a thirty-yarder but Gordon dived to his right to pull off an outstanding stop.

Indeed it could have been three for Hearts as De Vries' header slipped past the post with the game moving into injury time.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at January 6th, 2004)

2003-04 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)24 25 - 92 -
Barry Smith29 2513353
Lee Wilkie23 2531156
Brent Sancho26 9 - 9 -
Jonay Hernández24 19 - 561
David Mackay22 23 - 842
Mark Fotheringham20 112112
Garry Brady27 22 - 551
Nacho Novo24 25156824
Neil Jablonski20 2 - 4 -
Duncan McLean20 4141
Steven Robb (sub)21 1 - 13 -
Steven Milne (sub)23 1 - 9617

League Table (as at January 6th, 2004)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Firstly can I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Dundee fans are used to being on a roller-coaster when following their side, but nothing can compare with events of the past twelve months.

From the highs of a Scottish Cup Final appearance and a top-six finish and being back on the European stage for the first time in 29-years, to the very real low of the club being placed in administration.

Hopefully, as another year is about to begin, our fortunes will start on the upward trend again and that we will come out of this low point all the stronger as a club.

Here I must pay tribute to the supporters whose backing has been absolutely marvellous before and since going into administration. Unfortunately, that battle, however, is not a short term one and we'll need you to keep fighting so thatnthe battle can be won.

Of course, it is on the field of play that we also must start winning so long without a win in the league.

It isn't that performances have been bad. Far from it they have been largely very good, but lapses have cost us dearly. The last two away games at Celtic and Aberdeen typify this.

At Parkhead, we caused their defence a lot of problems and scored twice but returned empty- handed.

Two more goals at Pittodrie, but again, one or two slack moments at the back cost us two points.

However, given that we have been so short of strikers, we have scored twice in both of these games and the players attitude given the difficult financial background has been first class.

However, we do really need to get back to winning ways in the league. Not that it will be easy given that our two festive fixtures are at home to Rangers and then Hearts.

Alex McLeish's side have had injury problems and haven't been playing at quite their best, but they have ground out results and will be desperate to keep the pressure on Celtic ahead of next week's Old Firm clash.

Recent meetings with Hearts have been pretty even and attractive keeping both sets of fans happy.

Despite our recent win over Craig Levein's side in the CIS Cup, Hearts are in my opinion still third force in Scottish football and will be all out to prove just that.

But whilst these are both very difficult matches, we will be going out to do our level best to get the three points from Rangers and Hearts.