Dundee manager James McPake hopes the Dens Park club’s good record on astroturf holds up ahead of the Scottish Premiership play-off final second leg against Kilmarnock.

Jordan McGhee and Charlie Adam goals handed Dundee a 2-1 win in the first leg at Dens Park but Brandon Haunstrup’s late strike for Kilmarnock hands Monday’s hosts hope, despite a lackluster performance in Tayside. Rugby Park has an artificial surface but that doesn’t bother McPake, who was pleased with the first leg.

Dundee v Heart of Midlothian - Scottish Championship

DUNDEE, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 02: Dundee manager James McPake (R) shakes hands with Charlie Adam as he is substituted during a Scottish Championship match between Dundee and Hearts at Dens Park, on January 02, 2021, in Dundee, Scotland (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The Dundee manager said: “It was a really controlled performance and we were the better team. Of course, we’re disappointed to lose the goal but it’s a win, another good performance and my players were magnificent. I’m really proud of them. It was a pressure game but they stood up tall.

“There is a vulnerability about Kilmarnock because they finished second-bottom of the league.  That’s a fact. I’ve been there with Hibs and I know that feeling. We’re nowhere near there yet but they are hanging onto something that we’re desperate to get. We will always create chances.

 

“It will be a different Kilmarnock team but they’ll feel the pressure even more now we’ve got the lead. We have played very well on astroturf and it’s been a benefit of playing in the Championship. Out of ten games, we’ve only been beaten once on an artificial surface.

“Kilmarnock are a good side and they will create more chances on Monday and defensively we will need to be just as good. It is a goal where two boys block it and he has put it through the keeper’s legs but we have won the tie and have the advantage. As long as it is not a loss on Monday then we are a Premiership club.”

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