Shiels admits injury list gives Dundee upper hand

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Kenny SHIELS believes Dundee have a “great chance” of beating his Kilmarnock side in tonight’s William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round replay at Rugby Park.

Killie drew 1-1 against the First Division team at Dens Park, but with so many players missing through injury and ineligibility, the manager does not believe his side are in the driving seat. The winner’s of tonight’s match will face Hibs at Easter Road on February 4.

He said: “We have eight players out injured, James Dayton and David Silva have only rank outside chances of making it.

“We have two who are ineligible, Ben Gordon and Michael Nelson, and we have let three players go.

“So we are 13 players bereft of what we could have had on January 1. So I would say that they have a great chance.

“Dundee are a more of an SPL team playing in the First Division and they have proved that.

“They will be a major threat and we will be on our guard.Hopefully, we can progress. It is going to be hard, but we will be up for it.”

Dayton (hamstring) and Silva (groin) will have fitness tests this morning, while goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola, defenders Alex Pursehouse and Ryan O’Leary (all knee), midfielders Gary Fisher (foot), Gary Harkins (ankle) and Danny Buijs (hamstring) remain out.

Shiels is still looking to add to his squad and will have a look at former Dundee United and Aberdeen midfielder Mark Kerr over the next couple of days.

He said: “Mark Kerr is coming to train with us this week.

“He has been playing in Greece and he is trying to get himself back playing in the United Kingdom.

“We can offer all the benefits of playing with an SPL club and hopefully we can offer him the chance to get back on track.”

Dundee manager Barry Smith is confident of causing a Cup shock at the second attempt.

He said: “We have been playing well recently in the First Division and we also played well against Kilmarnock in the first game.

“We will take confidence from a good performance against them in the first game and will give it our best shot.”