Irvine never tempted to leave
Dundee captain Gary Irvine has revealed his feelings for the
Dens Park club meant a summer switch to Ross County was never an
Irvine, who had a five-month loan spell in Dingwall while a
Celtic player in 2006, was targeted by County manager Derek Adams
in the summer before Dundee were promoted to the Scottish Premier
League following the financial collapse of Rangers.
But he remained committed to Dundee and will line up against
County at the Global Energy Stadium on Saturday as Dundee look to
cut their six-point deficit at the foot of the table.
“I heard of interest there and they were in contact with my
agent,” Irvine said.
“In my mind it was always hard to leave here. I was fortunate to
pick up a lot of awards at the end of last season, and I was
grateful for that.
“It’s a hard thing to do, to get fans on your side and
appreciate you as a player. That was a massive factor.
“The times I have had here, going through the unbelievable
season of administration and having that love for the club is
brilliant, and that was always in my head.”
Dundee initially took longer to adjust to the SPL than County,
unsurprisingly given the lack of
preparation time, but Irvine praised County for making their
mark with the bulk of the squad that won the Irn-Bru First Division
“They are well organised and a tight unit,” the former St
Johnstone player said.
“There have not been many changes for a couple of seasons
“The standard when they came into this league was
“They have had a few results gone against them, but they make it
difficult for teams going up there.
“They knew what they were going into and what they were
preparing for and obviously for us everything changed with two
weeks to go. So I suppose Ross County had a bit more
“But if you look at it, there have not been many changes.
“It was the same team that played last year so it’s full credit
to them the way they started the season.”
Dundee are looking to bounce back from their 3-0 derby defeat by
Dundee United but had previously lost just once in five games.
“It’s a hard one, it constantly plays on your mind,” Irvine
said. “But you come back into training and straight away we need to
gear towards Saturday.
“Outwith last Sunday we were on a really good run, four or five
weeks the confidence was high and we were grinding out results.
“We have done really well to pull ourselves back into it and get
close to the teams above. It’s up to us to get back to winning ways
and get even closer.”