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Dundee v Hibernian squad news and preview: Smith wants more capital joy

Watch a full preview of the SPL game between Dundee v Hibernian.

Barry Smith head and shoulders.
SNS Group

Dundee boss Barry Smith has called for his side to reproduce their Hearts performance when Hibernian visit Easter Road for Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League match.

The Dark Blues' last home fixture saw them finally pick up their first win of the season at Dens Park thanks to Matt Lockwood's free-kick, the only goal of the game against Hearts.

Now they have the chance to make it back-to-back wins on home soil against Edinburgh teams with Smith urging them to try and take inspiration from their recent encounter with the Tynecastle men.

He said: "We want to try and live up to what we did against Hearts recently.

"That was a really good performance that day as well as a result.

"It gave everyone a big boost as we got what we deserved after a run of frustrating results.

"Hibs are obviously on a good run at the moment and all credit to them for doing so.

"But we won't change anything and we'll attempt to get the three points as we always do in our games at Dens Park.

"The lads are on a decent run of form with four points from our last two matches so that is something we want to continue."

Smith, whose side drew at Motherwell last weekend, knows the SPL leaders will take a sizeable support from Edinburgh so wants the home fans to turn out in numbers and urge his side onto another win.

He said: "It's a great game to look forward to because they are top of the league and we're trying to cause an upset.

"From that point of view, the lads won't need any more incentive to get them going.

"There will be a good atmosphere which hopefully the lads will respond to from the start.

"Hibs will bring a good crowd through as they're on a high and it's one we're going into in a positive frame of mind rather than fearing it."

Hibernian winger Ivan Sproule believes his side are benefiting from competition for places as the capital club seek to retain their place at the top

Sproule has been a peripheral figure this campaign, but insists he is ready to take his place in the starting XI should his team-mates' performances dip.

Sproule said: "This season I've had to sit back and watch Paul Cairney and David Wotherspoon being fantastic; I can't say any other words about them. They've been great week-in, week-out.

"It's been hard. I've spoken to the manager and he knows my situation and I know his situation.

"I'm certainly not here to make up the numbers, the manager knows that. He knows I need to be playing games at my age.

"It's been difficult, but if any of those players slip, I'll be the first to come in and do a job.

"It's a squad game and it only takes somebody to have a bad month.

"Hopefully over the next few weeks I can keep coming off the bench and if not get a starting place."

The 31-year-old Northern Ireland international is in his second spell at Easter Road, with his contract due to expire at the end of the current campaign.

"I've trained harder than I've ever trained and that's all I can do," he added.

"There are 11 boys starting in the team playing really well. But those 11 are looking over their shoulders at the boys looking to get in.

"That's what makes a strong squad and a good season's campaign."

Captain James McPake and fellow defender Tim Clancy are doubtful for the league leaders.

McPake missed the win over Dundee United with a back injury and Clancy has been absent with a groin problem, with manager Pat Fenlon to make a late decision over the pair.

Fenlon expects left-sided defender Ryan McGivern, who failed a fitness test ahead of Northern Ireland's midweek international with Azerbaijan, to be fit, while midfielder Gary Deegan (fractured jaw) has returned to light training.

Dundee squad: Douglas, McGregor, Lockwood, Irvine, Webster, Conroy, McAlister, Baird, McIntosh, Davidson, Reid, Cavanagh, McBride, Riley, Milne, Boyle, Nish, Toshney, Benedictus, Gallagher.

Hibernian squad: Williams, Clancy, Hanlon, McPake, Maybury, Claros, Cairney, Wotherspoon, Stevenson, Griffiths, Doyle, Caldwell, Stanton, Caldwell, Handling, Kuqi, Sproule, McGivern, Taiwo, Antell.

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