Meetings between Dundee and Ross County were expected to be significant this season, although the latest one is worth more to the Dens Park side than three league points.

The club are 15 points adrift of County at the foot of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League but have found further incentive given their last taste of Friday night football proved quite unpalatable.

Dundee lost 4-1 to Inverness Caledonian Thistle on a Friday night back in October – having conceded two goals within the first seven minutes – and that experience has continued to rankle with the squad since then. The visit of County tonight, then, is the ideal chance to make amends.

Loading article content

"That was a real kick in the teeth," said Gary Irvine, the Dundee defender. "Before we knew it we were 2-0 down and shell-shocked by what had just happened. It was the worst possible start to any game we've had this season but, hopefully, we've learned from it.

"We were dealt a few harsh lessons that night about how ruthless life can be in the SPL. I'm sure we won't get a repeat against Ross County because we're all geared up and raring to go. It's a massive game."

Dundee are still without the injured Stephen O'Donnell, Davide Grassi, Jamie McCluskey, Carl Finnigan and Mark Kerr ahead of tonight's match. However, Barry Smith is in a positive mood after watching his side thump Morton 5-1 in the Scottish Cup last weekend.

"We know what we have to do and there's no reason why we can't go out there and get a positive result," said the Dundee manager.