Dundee 2-1 Dundee United: Hartley hails Dundee character

Dundee manager Paul Hartley was delighted with the commitment and character his players showed in their derby win against Dundee United.

The 'Dee lost their captain James McPake to a suspected dislocated knee, but came from behind to claim victory.

"It wasn't a pretty game, it was hard fought, the pitch was heavy but the players showed the desire and spirit needed to get the win," Hartley said.

"The biggest thing was the character and determination the players showed."

Hartley says his players reacted well to the loss of McPake, but admits there is concern for the captain's wellbeing.

"We all feel for him," Hartley told BBC Scotland.

"The hope is that it is not too bad but the early signs are not encouraging when he left for hospital. We just need to see how he is.

"We dug in after that as it was never going to be about good football in conditions like that but we got the wee break to take the three points.

"The one thing I'm really pleased for is the supporters as they have suffered for so long but we have managed to get another derby win for them. That gives them the bragging rights."

McPake was stretchered off with a suspected dislocated knee
McPake was stretchered off with a suspected dislocated knee

Kane Hemmings' strike took his tally to 12 goals in just 21 games for Dundee, six of those coming in the last three matches.

The striker finally signed on at Dens Park last summer after a move down south turned sour and Hartley is happy his patience paid off.

"We tried to get Kane when we first came to the club but he opted to join Barnsley at that time.

"But he has been brilliant since he came in and over the last six weeks he has been terrific.

"He just keeps scoring goals now and that's no surprise because he is always in the right place at the right time.

"Kane is always a threat. We changed our system in the last few weeks and he looks really comfortable in that.

Dundee United manager Mixu Paatelainen admits he can't understand how his players ended up losing his first Dundee derby as manager.

"There was only one team that played today and that was us," Paatelainen said.

"I give the players a lot of credit the way they prepared for the match and we started well but it was not enough.

"It is six matches now that we have taken the lead and lost it now so that can't happen. It's quite incredible how we lost that game.

"They are silly, silly goals as well which is disappointing after we didn't take chances to extend that lead.

Dundee United manager Mixu Paatelainen was unhappy with the referee's performance
Dundee United manager Mixu Paatelainen was unhappy with the referee's performance

The Finn was left aggrieved by what he felt were some key decisions referee Kevin Clancy got wrong.

He wasn't happy at the award of a free kick to Dundee which led to their winner and he also believes Demel did not deserve his second booking.

"That was also a very lucky goal they won with and it came from a situation where the referee gave a free kick when in my opinion it was never a free kick.

"Our player went strongly in that situation and both players fell. It was as simple as that.

"It's amazing how things like that happen. In my mind we should have ended the game with eleven men on the pitch.

"The second challenge Guy Demel made is never a yellow card. I don't think it is even a foul.

"But obviously the referee thought differently and acted like that. Quite unbelievable."

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