Docherty dismisses concerns over Dundee pitch ahead of Rangers clash

The fixture was postponed just 90 minutes ahead of kick-off last month over a waterlogged pitch.

Tony Docherty has dismissed any concerns that Dundee’s Premiership match at home to title-chasing Rangers on Wednesday may fall victim to the weather for a second time.

The Dens Park clash was contentiously postponed just 90 minutes ahead of kick-off last month, the fourth time a game at the stadium has been called off this season due to waterlogging.

There were fears Dundee’s 3-2 defeat at home to Motherwell on Saturday may suffer a similar fate, a scenario that would have caused the Scottish Professional Football League a major headache with little room for manoeuvre before the post-split schedule is announced after this weekend’s round of matches.

The pitch was eventually declared playable despite Motherwell expressing concerns pre-match that the state of the surface placed their players at risk.

Further rain is anticipated in the area on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Dundee are optimistic there will be no issues with hosting the Gers this week.

“No, I don’t,” said Dundee boss Docherty, when asked if he had any concerns. “All I know is there is a game on Wednesday and my job is to prepare the team for that. That’s all I’m doing and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

Asked if the rain covers were down on the pitch, Docherty said: “As far as I believe. I’ve just had assurances that the game will go ahead.

“That’s all I know, and that’s all I need to know, that the game will go ahead.”

Dundee have been criticised for the state their pitch has got into this season, and Docherty acknowledged he would like to have a high-quality surface for his team to play on going forward.

“It’s something I’m not comfortable speaking about because it’s not something I’m qualified in, but you see the way we play, I want the best pitch possible for my team because I think we’ve got a really good footballing side,” he said.

“We’ve got a style of play that lends itself to playing on the deck, building from the back, and centre-backs stepping in, so the better the pitch, the better the performance for us.

“But in saying that, as a footballer and as a team, you need to be adaptable to every condition throughout a rigorous campaign.”

Docherty was named Scottish Premiership manager of the month on Monday after overseeing a draw and two victories in March that strengthened his side’s top-six prospects.

The Dark Blues know one win from either of their last two games against Rangers and Aberdeen will be enough to secure a place in the top half, although Docherty is braced for a tough task against a Gers side buoyed by a stirring fightback from 2-0 down in Sunday’s 3-3 draw at home to Celtic.

“What a brilliant game that was, just a fantastic advert for our national sport,” he said. “It blew me away, the quality, the tempo, the competitiveness.

“Rangers coming up here on the back of that, I was nothing but impressed with particularly their second-half performance.

“We know the enormity of the task ahead of us. Both teams are going in with different motivations but who’s to say whose motivation is stronger? We’re looking forward to it.”

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