Dundee V Dundee Utd at Dens Park Stadium : Match Preview

01 May 2016
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Dundee United predicament shocks Dundee manager Paul Hartley

Dundee boss Paul Hartley admits he is stunned to see city rivals Dundee United heading towards the top-flight trapdoor.

The Dee can deliver the final blow to the Tannadice side by confirming their relegation from the Ladbrokes Premiership if they avoid a derby defeat at Dens Park on Monday night.

But Dark Blues manager Hartley believes the Tangerines have the players that should have seen them to safety.

Asked if it was a surprise to see United 11 points adrift at the bottom of the table, he said: "Yeah I am. If you look at the squad that they had at the beginning of the season it was a strong group of players.

"So I didn't see this coming in terms of their league position. It's been a real struggle for them.

"It will be a real loss to the league and the city of Dundee if they go down. I think we want to have the league as strong as we can.

"But here at this club, we just want to do well for ourselves. I think our fans will enjoy it if we get the result that does put United down.

"However, it wouldn't just be us that would relegate Dundee United. That has happened across the season. We just want to win the football match for us, for the club, for our fans, our players and our staff."

Dundee United defender Mark Durnan believes players will be fighting for their careers.

Manager Mixu Paatelainen this week stated there would be many changes at Tannadice in the summer, whether he is allowed to continue or not.

Durnan remains under contract next season but he is well aware that team-mates need to prove their mettle to watching managers.

Suffering relegation against city rivals Dundee would be the low point of the club's history and Durnan is determined to prove that they will not go down meekly.

"It's a derby and it's a big derby," the former Queen of the South centre-back said.

"You have got to be strong. Even in the position we are in, you have got to be up for it.

"It's a bit of self-pride, it's pride for the club and the fans. We might be bottom of the league but we have got to show that we still fight for the club and for the fans, who have been let down so much this season.

"There's boys out of contract, there's boys fighting for their career and showing they have got a bit of bottle, otherwise they won't be here and they won't be in football. There's a determination that people have to fight for their careers."

United need to win their last four games to have any hope of avoiding automatic relegation, but they have only won six times in the league this season.

Durnan added: "I think we've got good players but we have not been a good team, unfortunately. I don't know why that has been.

"This season hasn't been good enough. We all know that and recognise that. It's been disappointing but we have a few games left and we just need to perform and show a bit of fight."

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