Jon McCracken dismisses Rangers 'free hit' theory as he tells Dundee fans the next target

Dundee Goalkeeper Jon McCracken
Dundee Goalkeeper Jon McCracken -Credit:SNS Group

Jon McCracken has warned that Dundee are on the up and now have St Mirren and European football in their sights.

The Dark Blues have already booked their top six place but there is no chance of Tony Docherty’s side putting away the tools. The newly-promoted side showed that as they kicked on and took a well-deserved midweek point off Rangers to move within two points of the fifth placed Buddies. The keeper said: “The next target would be the team above us, which is St Mirren.

“That is two points. That is our next target to get ahead of them. I think we are well within our rights to believe we can do that. Hopefully we can show people we can do it. A lot of people were aiming it at us that this (Rangers’ game) was a free hit but that was never the case from us. We have new targets now we are top six and that performance will show we are not going to down tools and just be happy with being top six. We have new targets we want to achieve.”

This is the Taysiders’ first season back in the top-flight and McCracken believes they have shown they deserve to be there. Dundee open up in the split with home games against Celtic and St Mirren.

He stated: “We have always believed we are a good team. It is good that the league table shows it. We believe it and it is there for everybody to see that we are a top six team.

“It gives us freedom in terms of we have retained our top-flight status. That was always our objective coming in to keep that.

“Now we have secured that by getting the top six and it gives the boys confidence. The league table doesn’t lie and we have proved we should be a top six team over the course of the season. That (Rangers') performance just shows that. It was good and we will build on that.”

Dundee have steadily ticked off their top-flight to-do list and Wednesday saw them pick up their first points from either of the big two. McCracken felt Docherty got his tactics spot on and his team were worthy of their point.

The on-loan Norwich City player insisted: “Yes, it was a good result. I thought we came in pretty confident after the weekend. A lot of people were saying it was a free hit but we never really seen it like that. It was a good result. The boys defended well and I am happy with the clean sheet as well. It was a good point.

“I think we knew we wouldn’t have the majority of the ball. We are a team that likes to play. The second half of the Aberdeen game we played with a lot more confidence and we took confidence into the Rangers game. When we had the ball we used it pretty well and looked dangerous going forward. We are a team that likes to have the ball but we are comfortable in our own shape that they aren’t going to hurt us too much.”

McCracken has come in to fill in for the injured Trevor Carson in recent weeks but has managed to hold on to the gloves over the longer term. He repaid the faith Docherty has shown in him again against Rangers, making big saves to deny Abdallah Sima and Cyriel Dessers. The Dundee keeper admitted: “Dessers, was a good save but you will take any save. “A save is a save.

“It is good to get back-to-back clean sheets. We can take a lot of credit and confidence from that. It is a big bonus.

“I am really pleased. I am just happy to be playing. It has been an up and down season so it is good to get a wee run of games. Playing behind that defence it is a good back four and I am enjoying my football.”