A-Jay Leitch-Smith feels Dundee are reaping rewards for hard graft

A-Jay Leitch-Smith celebrates scoring Dundee's second goal against St Johnstone
A-Jay Leitch-Smith celebrates scoring Dundee's second goal against St Johnstone

Dundee striker A-Jay Leitch-Smith feels the enthusiasm shown in training helped the team secure their first league win of the season, Saturday's 3-2 success against St Johnstone at Dens Park.

"Everyone's been up for it in training, the tempo's been very high," said the player on loan from Shrewsbury Town.

"We worked on quite a few things and thankfully it paid off.

"The manager (Neil McCann) was a winger himself so he is up for us showing what we can do and showing no fear."

McCann told BBC Radio Scotland after the match that he had instructed his players to "go toe to toe and man for man" against a Saints team who were boasting an unbeaten Premiership record this season.

"He wants us to play, he wants us to to attack but to be solid at the back," added 27-year-old Englishman Leitch-Smith, whose mother's side of the family is Scottish.

He scored what McCann described as a "poacher's goal" for Dee's first and showed class to dispatch his team's second, then drew the foul that earned his team the penalty from which Sofien Moussa scored the host's third in a controversial match.

The result lifted the Dark Blues from the foot of the table to ninth.

"Hopefully the scoring continues," said the former Crewe, Yeovil and Port Vale attacker.

"It was a dream start but I thought the team were terrific all afternoon. It was more about getting the three points than a personal note. It was good to get the points on the board.

"We were 2-0 up and then they got the penalty and we had to be solid at the back. I thought the defending was terrific. They were quite direct and they were heading everything away. We just had to tough it out at the end.

"We knew they were going to be direct. They set up with two up top."

Leitch-Smith, on loan on Tayside until January, says he is versatile in attack.

"I can play in and around a big 'un, I can play off a 10 as a nine. I can do both roles," he said.

Dundee host Celtic next in Wednesday's League Cup quarter-final.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "They are a great team but you've got to be confident you can get something out the game."

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