Dundee V Hamilton at Dens Park Stadium : Match Preview

06 May 2016
Dundee V Hamilton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Julen Etxabeguren happy to take midfield role

Dundee defender Julen Etxabeguren will have no problem standing in for Paul McGowan in midfield when Paul Hartley's side take on Hamilton on Saturday.

Etxabeguren started Monday's game against Dundee United on the bench but was called into action midway through the first-half when McGowan went off with a shoulder injury.

He was asked to sit in front of the Dundee defence despite having not played the protector role since his days in Real Sociedad's youth team.

But the former East Fife part-timer strolled through the hectic derby battle with his usual calmness and insists he will have no problem standing in for McGowan - who has been ruled out for the final three games of the season - against Hamilton.

"It is never nice to come on when a player is injured but I really enjoyed it when I got my chance to play," said the 25-year-old.

"It was a great atmosphere and a derby day is always special - more so if you win it.

"It is a long time since I have played in midfield. I used to play there when I was in the youth teams in Spain but not in the last six or seven years, so it was quite strange at the beginning.

"Everyone helped me, though, so that made it much easier. I think it went well.

"There was a bit more running than I normally have to do. I'm not used to it but I really enjoyed it.

"I don't know if I will have to fill in there with Gowser now being out injured. It's a big loss for the team him being out and hopefully it is nothing serious. But I will try to help the team wherever I can."

Playmaker Gary Harkins is out of the Accies match up after sustaining an ankle knock in the win which relegated the Dark Blues' city rivals.

Rory Loy (ankle) returns but Cammy Kerr (fractured hand) and Nicky Low (ankle) remain unavailable alongside long-term absentee James McPake.

Hamilton defender Michael Devlin has vowed the team will never stop fighting or believing in their quest to avoid a relegation play-off.

Accies could have guaranteed their safety last weekend as they aimed for a third consecutive win, but they were on the end of a 4-0 home defeat by Kilmarnock.

There was an angry reaction in the home stand at New Douglas Park and the stadium announcer claimed none of the players deserved man of the match.

But Devlin insists no one was more disappointed than the players and vowed to put matters right against Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday.

The centre-back said: "The fans have stuck by us when we have had poor results but the performance needs to be there. I understand the fans verbalising their frustration at the team.

"As for the stadium announcer, I don't know why he said that. That doesn't help anybody, saying something like that.

"As for the fans, we share their frustration. There was nobody more frustrated than us by that result and performance. We were devastated in the changing room after the game."

Accies had beaten Dundee and Dundee United in their previous two games, successes which mean they still have a four-point advantage over Kilmarnock with three games left.

"Everybody had great expectations from that game on Saturday, and I think that's probably why it was so hard to take from everybody, the fans included," Devlin said.

Hamilton defender Jesus Garcia Tena will return for the game with Dundee with the centre-back training all week after missing several games through injury.

Darren Lyon (stomach) remains out while Kemy Agustien is also struggling to overcome a knock.

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