Dundee V Motherwell at Dens Park Stadium : Match Preview

04 November 2016
Dundee V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Craig Wighton says Dundee need shut out outside noise to climb up the standings

Craig Wighton has learned to shut out outside pressures during his formative years as a Dundee player and feels that is precisely the way his team will get off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

The Dundee-born player has had to cope with major expectations since making his first-team debut at the age of 16.

Now aged 19 and with more than 50 first-team appearances for Dundee under his belt, the forward is keeping his focus on football.

Wighton, who has started the last two games, said: "Playing at 16 was good at the time but you maybe don't realise there were a lot of expectations. I have had to deal with that throughout the time I have been here but I am used to that now.

"I am 19 now and getting a bit older so I want to play week in, week out. It's up to me to make it hard for the manager to leave me out.

"I have played in the first team for a few years now but I have never really had a run of games. It's always play one or two and go out for the next couple. It's up to me to keep working hard and get myself in the team but I feel I can play a vital role in climbing up the table.

"There has always been stuff in the papers and it's hard to get away from it because I am from Dundee and a lot of my friends and family are Dundee fans. People are always asking: 'Is this true? Is that true?' But you don't let it affect you and you come in and work hard every day and forget about what people say or what goes on."

There were plenty of potential distractions away from the pitch as Dundee struggled to follow up their opening-day win over Ross County.

But they ended a six-match losing run with victory at Hamilton last weekend and Wighton is determined to follow that up against Motherwell at Dens Park on Saturday.

"We didn't start the way we wanted, everyone knows that," Wighton said. "And the fans, press exaggerates and makes stories up but everyone is fighting for each other and everyone is happy and we are confident we can get off the bottom of the table.

"It's been frustrating for the fans but it's been frustrating for us as well at the start of the season. That win on Saturday was good for the fans but we need to build on that.

"We need to get two or three in a row and climb the table and then all the pressure is off, people stop talking about all the stuff that goes on and the manager.

"Nobody in here has ever listened to that. We are quite a close group and everyone is willing to fight for each other. You saw that on Saturday and that's what we need to keep doing."

Motherwell defender Ben Heneghan hopes his side can rest easy next week by claiming a second straight win over Dundee.

The Steelmen bounced back from a painful 3-0 loss to Inverness by thumping their Highland rivals Ross County 4-1 last Saturday.

Well now travel to Dundee for their final fixture before next week's international break and former Chester centre-back Heneghan is looking for another victory to ease the team's troubles.

The Dens Park basement boys could move level with ninth-placed Motherwell with a win, but Heneghan is trying to maintain a positive outlook.

He said: "We need the three points on Saturday, Dundee are not going to be an easy game, so we've got to bring our A-game, be the best we can be, take it to them, win the game and hopefully have a nice break.

"We've had a few not-so-good results, but you've just got to build on it. There's only 12 teams in the league so it's very close. Celtic are obviously up there, but everyone else is still fighting for it, so we just have to focus on the win.

"We were disappointed with the Caley Thistle game, but to be honest I think it was just the second half where we were really poor.

"But we built on it on Saturday with a good performance.

"After a loss everyone's head goes a bit, but you just know that the next game is around the corner and you have to build on it. The next day you're in training, you're getting ready for that next game and we did it right and it showed.

"We played really well on Saturday against Ross County, it was a positive result and we need to build on that now against Dundee.

"Obviously we know we've got to start getting the points on the board and a positive result on Saturday will hopefully push us on."

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