Rab Douglas keen to get Dundee off derby mark

DUNDEE goalkeeper Rab Douglas admits the off-field dramas that have surrounded the club over the past week have been an unwelcome distraction ahead of tomrrow’s derby clash.

The Dens Park outfit face city rivals Dundee United with a place in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals at stake.

But the build-up to the game has been dominated by the saga surrounding new interim boss John Brown’s appointment.

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The former Rangers defender was brought in to replace sacked predecessor Barry Smith amid supporter protests and claims of board unrest.

And Douglas claims the off-field rumbles have made it harder to focus on the task of beating United at the third time of asking this season.

The former Scotland keeper, who played his 300th game for the Dark Blues on Wednesday as team-mate Mark Stewart netted a last-minute equaliser in their 2-2 draw with St Johnstone said: “It’s been a hard week. It’s been a strange week as well. It’s never easy concentrating on the football with all the other stuff going on around the club.

“That’s probably just Dundee for you though. It’s still a great place to play and we need to get on with it. The best release for any footballer is to go and play games in quick succession. That’s they way it is going, so that is brilliant.

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Douglas did admit, however, that Dundee have not been up to scratch in their two previous Clydesdale Bank Premier League meetings with United this term.

They lost the opening August derby match 3-0 at Tannadice and the December return by the same margin. A July pre-season friendly also saw the Tangerines walk off with a three-goal win.

“Our fans are desperate to win a derby match,” Douglas said. “As a group of players, we have been beaten twice in the league and once in a friendly.

“We have rarely done ourselves justice but we will give it a go.”