Dundee 0
Partick Thistle 1
League (First Division)

0 - 1

League (First Division)
Saturday, August 5th, 2006
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,144
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Mark Roberts (27)

Team Managers
Alex Rae
Dick Campbell

Starting Eleven
Ludovic Roy
Paul Dixon
Danny Griffin
Gary Mackenzie
Bobby Mann
Kevin McDonald
Alex Rae
Bryan Deasley
Scott Gates
Ross Harris
Amick Ciani
Kenny Arthur .1
Scott Boyd .2
Billy Gibson .3
Scott McCulloch .4
Craig Sives .5
Darren Brady .6
Brown Ferguson .7
Jimmy Gibson .8
Simon Donnelly .9
Graham Gibson .10
Mark Roberts .11

Scott Murray
Callum MacDonald
Stephen McNally
Scott Robertson
Gavin Swankie
Johny Tuffey .12
Adam Strachan .14
John Kane .15
John McGoldrick .16
Sandy Hodge .17

Scott Murray for Ludovic Roy (10)
Callum MacDonald for Bobby Mann (46)
Gavin Swankie for Amick Ciani (52)
John Kane for Simon Donnelly (75)
John McGoldrick for Mark Roberts (78)
Sandy Hodge for Scott McCulloch (83)

Gary Mackenzie (60)
Kevin McDonald (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Mike Ritchie (Referee)

Match Report

The real cost of Saturday's opening day defeat to Partick Thistle will bite Alex Rae's squad hard this morning as they board the bus to training minus captain Bobby Mann and goalkeeper Ludovic Roy.

While losing his first competitive m match in charge-Partick's win came courtesy of Mark Roberts' 28th-minute goal-will no doubt have given Rae his first experience of the week- end depression managers often talk about, what little hair he has left was no doubt being pulled out as he contemplated losing two of his most important players for over a month.

Mann, last season's player of the the year, hobbled off seconds before half-time having damaged ankle ligaments and joined Roy, whose afternoon was cur- tailed after only 10 minutes following a clash with Craig Sives which left him nursing cracked ribs, on the treatment table.

Rae has been at pains to stress that his squad is far too threadbare to make an impression at the top end of the table and his fears have been borne out in spectacular style. He will now seek to draft in replacements before the visit of Hamilton this weekend.

Dundee were blighted by bad luck on the injury front, but there was nothing fortunate about Partick's win. Indeed, the Jags were cursing themselves for only scoring one.

Dundee's defence, rock-solid throughout pre-season, looked anything but now the real work has begun.

Gary MacKenzie has been lauded as the find of the summer following his man-marking performances on Craig Brewster and Kris Boyd, but he struggled to cope with the pace of Firhill pair Simon Donnelly and Graham Gibson.

Although, in mitigation, losing Mann from his side and having 18-year-old Scott Murray at his back perhaps affected the 21-year-old, who was, after all, making his own top-team debut.

"We just have to pick ourselves up and prepare for Tuesday because that's a chance to put it right straight away," said Rae.

The Jags' link-up play between Don- nelly, Gibson and midfielder Roberts proved too tricky for the Dark Blues to cope with. Time and again the three combined to slice open the home defence and there was an air of inevitability when they finally took the lead after 28 minutes.

Rae, who pores over Dundee's matches on DVD, will not enjoy viewing his role in what proved to be the matchwinner. He looked for too much time on the ball in midfield and surrendered possession to Roberts, whose pass out to Graham Gibson bought him time to sneak in at the back to slot the return past the exposed Scott Murray.

Dundee created chances and thought they should have been given a goal when the mystery French trialist, who lasted 52 minutes before being replaced by Gavin Swankie, fobbed one over Kenny Arthur only to be flagged offside.

Dundee's best performer was Murray, who again proved himself to be an able deputy. The 18-year-old made a habit of replacing accident-prone keeper Kelvin Jack last season, but has denied putting a hex on his colleagues.

"That's three times I've had to replace people who have been injured-but I don't have a Voodoo doll, honest," he joked.

Match report written by The Courier

Squad Statistics (as at August 5th, 2006)

2006-07 All Time
Ludovic Roy (GK)28 1 - 1 -
Paul Dixon19 1 - 402
Gary Mackenzie20 1 - 1 -
Bobby Mann32 1 - 784
Danny Griffin28 1 - 1 -
Kevin McDonald17 1 - 343
Scott Gates18 1 - 9 -
Alex Rae36 1 - 1 -
Ross Harris22 1 - 1 -
Amick Ciani - 1 - 1 -
Bryan Deasley18 1 - 203
Scott Murray (sub) (GK)18 1 - 23 -
Callum MacDonald (sub)23 1 - 761
Gavin Swankie (sub)22 1 - 4 -

League Table (as at August 5th, 2006)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Welcome back to Dens Park for the start of what is not only a new season, but hopefully also a new era in the fortunes of Dundee football Club.

When Chief Executive Dave McKinnon first approached me about becoming manager, I must confess that I had a few sleepless nights, but the challenge of reviving the Club's fortunes was one that in the end, I simply couldn't resist.

It is a daunting prospect but I'm very excited about the job. I think the only way to describe Davie Farrell and I is that we are very hungry to succeed and this opportunity was just too good to pass up. I grew up with Davie on the streets of Glasgow and there is great trust between us. We were with rival teams as kids, me playing for Celtic Boys Club and him with Eastercraigs, but always good friends.

He is a football anorak and I'll be leaning on him heavily.

Coaching and management was something I always wanted to get into.

I've been quite fortunate with the managers I've played for. Hardly any of them have been sacked while I've played for them, so they must have had something going for them. I'll try and take something from all of them, but basically it's the way I conduct myself as a player that I am trying to instil in the players.

As we get the campaign underway this afternoon, I'm not going to get carried away by making any rash predictions not when I've only seen around half of the teams we'll be playing and then only in pre-season friendlies.

However, if we keep our starting eleven fit and suspension-free, then I feel we can make a good impact.

There's enough experience here if everyone is available, but we are quite thin on the ground when it comes to numbers and we need to add further to the squad.

The difficulty we've got is being able to attract experienced pros for the kind of money we can afford to pay.

But we'll keep working away to bring in the people we require. And the lack of depth to our squad means the players must be on their best behaviour with the need for discipline being one the first things I emphasised to the players.

Not that I set the best of examples by getting myself booked in one of our first friendlies for dissent!

But I've told the players that there is no point in arguing with referees. It's not only potentially costly for the team, firing negative stuff at refs is wrong.

Besides, they've enough to contend with without players screaming and bawling at them.

Looking at the title race, getting promotion is certainly going to be.tough. By my reckoning, there are probably four to six teams harbouring SPL aspirations this year. Gretna, Livingston, St Johnstone, Ross County as well as Partick and ourselves, will all be looking to have a go.

That should make for an exciting season and with Dick Campbell's team, whom we welcome this afternoon, aiming to be in the promotion frame, we have a very hard start.

With so many new players in the side, I would urge all our supporters to get right behind the team and hopefully, together, we can get a new chapter in the club's history off to a winning start.