Houston won’t take rivals lightly

Houston’s side have been made overwhelming favourites to claim

the bragging rights from the first competitive Dundee derby in

seven years when they welcome the SPL new boys from across the

road.

But Houston has told his players they must match Barry Smith’s

newly-promoted side blow for blow or else they could up on the

receiving end of a shock.

He said: “We’re preparing ourselves for nothing other than a

very tough derby match.

“Make no mistake, we are going up against a team who will give

it everything and get stuck in right from the start.

“So, in turn, we will have to make sure we do exactly the same

because derbies can sometimes come down to who wants to win them

most on the day.

“We’ve had Dundee watched last Saturday against St Mirren and

they battled very hard even though they lost in the end.

“We also had them watched down at Kilmarnock the previous week

and the reports we got also highlighted how hard they had

worked.

“So we are under no illusions about this game and will be giving

Dundee every respect.”

Houston is preparing for his first competitive Dundee derby as

manager and admits he can feel the atmosphere which is gripping the

City of Discovery.

He said: “We are obviously really up for it because it’s a

special occasion.

“The dressing room is buzzing and we know what it means to the

fans to get the right result.

“I’ve obviously been away on Scotland duty earlier this week but

I have heard from the backroom staff that the players have trained

magnificently since the Dinamo Moscow defeat last week.

“As a result, they have all been at it as they all want to be in

the team for Sunday’s game.

“This is the exactly the kind of occasion we want to see in

Scottish Football, a full stadium is such a healthy sign.

“So often a derby can be decided by a bit of luck, perhaps a

deflected goal or something like that.

“So you have to make sure that when you create chances you take

them but are mindful of keeping things tight at the back.”