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.”