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Mark McGhee hoping to win over Dundee doubters with victory in home debut

Mark McGhee hopes Dundee fans give him a chance (Scott Heavey/PA)
Mark McGhee hopes Dundee fans give him a chance (Scott Heavey/PA)

Mark McGhee hopes he can start building a rapport with Dundee’s fans by winning his first home match in charge against Livingston on Saturday.

Many supporters were underwhelmed by the appointment of the 64-year-old following the sacking of James McPake.

The former Aberdeen and Motherwell manager is well aware of the scepticism within the fanbase but is hopeful that, after a spirited 3-2 defeat away to league leaders Celtic in his first game last weekend, he can get off on the right foot on his Kilmac Stadium bow.

“I’m under no illusions, when you go to any club, you have to win the loyalty of the fans,” said McGhee. “I’m aware of that. All I’m asking is that they give us the benefit of the doubt.

“I’m a professional football manager and I’ve had other jobs, but that doesn’t mean I can’t come to Dundee and give all I’ve got. I have plenty to give. People have to give me a little slack.

“My record says that I deserve the opportunity to do this job but I also have to prove I’m worthy of the job. Hopefully we can get a result against Livingston that helps us up the league and endears us in some way to the supporters.”

McGhee was pleased with the way bottom-of-the-table Dundee performed at Celtic Park, but believes he will learn a lot more about them from how they handle the visit of a spirited Livingston team.

“This game will be a bigger indicator of how the players have responded to us than last Sunday’s game at Celtic,” he said. “We had a good performance at Celtic but we (McGhee and his assistant Simon Rusk) didn’t have a big amount to do with that.

“The players were already in a groove after beating Hearts and Peterhead and they took that into the Celtic game. We added little bits and people have been complimentary about how we looked against Celtic, which is great, but this is a totally different game.

“It’s a harder game in many ways because the stakes are higher. The supporters will be coming here expecting us to win against Livingston and that’s a different pressure to going to Celtic Park and hoping you don’t get thrashed.

“You’ve got to have absolute respect for what Livingston do and how they do it. They’re a mixture of determination and football. They will play at times. They are effective in what they do. We absolutely know how difficult the game will be.”

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