Motherwell boss Mark McGhee looks ahead to crucial Dundee clash

Mark McGhee and his assistant James McFadden pictured in the Fir Park dugout during Dundee's last visit, a 0-0 draw on August 27 (Pic by Alan Watson)
Mark McGhee and his assistant James McFadden pictured in the Fir Park dugout during Dundee's last visit, a 0-0 draw on August 27 (Pic by Alan Watson)
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After a tough run of fixtures against Scottish football’s big guns, Motherwell manager Mark McGhee is hoping his troops can deliver three points against Dundee.

This Saturday’s home Scottish Premiership game for ’Well at Fir Park is crucial, with recent defeats against Hearts, Aberdeen and Celtic dropping them down to 10th place in the table.

McGhee said: “The last time we met a team in our section of the table was Ross County and we dealt with it well,” said McGhee, referring to ’Well’s 2-1 win in Dingwall on January 31.

“We just have to do the same. Our underlying form is good.

“Carl McHugh is back from suspension so we have to be optimistic.

“But we know how difficult a game it will be against Dundee, who will come here in good spirits after beating Rangers.

“Dundee had a fantastic result there and are in the top six. We just have to be determined to improve our form.

“We have done well against the teams around us this season – if we didn’t have Lee Lucas sent off against Hamilton we would have won that one.

“We just need to continue that on Saturday.”

McGhee said that Stephen McManus will definitely miss the Dundee game after sustaining a groin injury at Parkhead last Saturday. And fellow crock Stevie Hammell is rated “very doubtful” with a hip problem.

Meanwhile, the Motherwell gaffer revealed that the club is no further forward in terms of arranging for a referee’s chief to come to Fir Park and meet the players to explain to them the ins and outs of what is and isn’t a straight red card offence.

McGhee and his squad are keen to get this meeting finalised after a spate of recent dismissals which has seen Lucas, Scott McDonald and McHugh all sent off for two footed challenges in recent games.

“I watched the Arsenal game the other night,” McGhee added.

“There were some pretty robust tackles.

“I saw a type of tackle that one of our players was sent off for, yet the guy was only yellow carded and the people in the TV studio were praising the decision.

“I don’t understand what is and isn’t a red card.

“My players have no history of violence or getting themselves into trouble.

“We don’t get players booked for dissent or getting involved with the opposition. We have been very unlucky.”