Dundee manager James McPake is looking forward to the “best walk in football” this weekend when he leads his side into derby action against Dundee United, with the Dens Park boss looking to end a 17-year hoodoo and win at Tannadice.

The Dark Blues need to go all the way back to August 2004 for the last time they triumphed along the road and McPake thinks the short walk to Tannadice should make his players very much aware of what the derby is all about.

Kilmarnock v Dundee - Scottish Premiership Playoff Final 2nd Leg

McPake wants to win at Tannadice for the first time since 2004. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

While McPake is well accustomed to the derby day tradition, the Dundee boss admits he was taken aback by it when he first moved to the City of Discovery, and thinks it is a testament to the fans of both clubs that the rivalry is so fierce before the game but the fans can enjoy a beer together afterward.

“It’s something that’s unique,” he said. “They (United) changed it a couple of years ago and came on a bus. We got the option to go on a bus from the police this year.

“No. Why?

“It’s the best walk in football. You’re walking down there to play your biggest rivals and you know the place is packed.

“It’s not so much that you’re walking down for a battle. You’re walking into their territory and going down to say ‘Let’s get a positive result to take back up the road’. Why would you take that away?

When I came to the club I was surprised when I heard about it because I was used to getting police escorts into Tynecastle when I was at Hibs.


“The walk down is fantastic. I think what it does show is the football spirit in this city. It’s fierce.

“The derbies are fierce and they hate each other for however long the game goes on for, and then the fans can go and have a beer together after it. I think that’s fantastic as a city.

“What we want to do is go down there and break a 17-year hoodoo.

“That’s the carrot for us and it’s what we’ve put to the players, to go down there and be the first Dundee team to win there in 17 years.”

NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.

Have something to tell us about this article?