Dundee boss Paul Hartley eyes top-half finish in Premiership

Dundee manager Paul Hartley
Hartley guided the Tayside outfit to promotion in his first season in charge

Dundee manager Paul Hartley says his revamped squad are targeting a top-six finish on their return to Scotland's top flight.

Hartley has snapped up a host of new faces this summer, and reckons the experience and creativity of his side will serve Dee well.

"We want to try to get into the top six, that's a key thing," the manager told BBC Scotland.

"The squad we have, and myself, won't be happy finishing down the table."

The Dens Park boss has embarked on a major rebuilding job during the close season, with Kevin Thomson, James McPake,Paul McGowan and Gary Harkins among several new additions to the squad that won the Championship last term.

Hartley is determined to steer well clear of the battle to avoid relegation and he is convinced his side can do it with style.

"In seasons gone by only one team has gone down and the introduction of the play-off has been great," he added.

Greg Stewart scores against Peterhead
Greg Stewart, another of Paul Hartley's new signings, scored in the 4-0 League Cup win over Peterhead

"You saw the excitement last year with Hibs and Hamilton in the [play-off] final, but we want to stay clear of that so it's up to us as a group of players and staff to make sure we finish as high as possible.

"We've had a big turnaround in players and we think we've got a good squad of players to do well.

"With the way we've worked in pre-season and the result we had against Peterhead, they've gelled really well pretty quickly.

"They've had a fantastic pre-season, they've worked really hard and their fitness levels are good, and we want to play a certain style that suits our players

"The creative side, I think we sort of lacked that last season, so I had to look what creative players are out there and it shows the way we want to play - we want to try to be an entertaining team, play fast attacking football and be really direct."

With Hearts and Hibernian having been relegated last season, matches between Dundee and their rivals Dundee United will be the one of the Premiership's main derby matches.

"Having the Dundee derby is a great thing for the top flight," added Hartley.

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