Dundee boss Jim McIntyre looking for shot-shy players to pull the trigger

Dundee boss Jim McIntyre looking for shot-shy players to pull the trigger

No honeymoon period for Martin Woods as Dundee new boy hits ground running

Footballers at a new club usually enjoy a little time to settle in but Dundee new boy Martin Woods admits he has to hit the ground running at Dens Park.

The 32-year-old made his debut as a late sub in Saturdays defeat at Motherwell and knows the 20 minutes or so at Fir Park are as much of a honeymoon period as hes going to get.

The man of many clubs has been brought in to add top-flight ability, experience and knowledge to the squad.

With the Dark Blues at the bottom of the table after just one win in the opening 12 games, he knows those qualities have to be applied immediately.

There is no time for me to settle in. This is it, I cant be saying Im not that fit, or Im not quite ready. I have to be, I know that and I am, he said.

I had the same thing when I joined Partick Thistle last season. You are thrown in at the deep end and you just have to do it.

The combination of what hes seen during that work and on the park at the weekend has convinced him he wont be suffering relegation for a second campaign running.

Saturday was much better. Ive only been at the last couple of games, but if you combine the talent thats in the dressing-room with that attitude, its much better. If you put both of them together then you are going to win more games than youre not.

We were a lot more difficult to break down, so that stands us in good stead going into a huge game against St Mirren this coming Saturday.

Motherwell are a team that can pin teams in and bully teams and one thing the boys werent was bullied. Thats important.

Having watched the poor displays in heavy defeats against Hearts and Celtic, against the Steelmen, Woods knows it was important his new team-mates showed they wouldnt lie down.

First half we had two better chances. Second half they probably started better than us and capitalised on that.

Thats what it takes in these kind of games – get ahead and show that kind of spirit. I think we showed that spirit as well

This time the boys kept going, we didnt get the result but everyone was right up for the fight all the way to the end.

Under Jim McIntyre, a manager he knows well from time together at Ross County, Woods is confident Dundee will get off the bottom.

Because of the midweek game last week, everything we were doing was recovery and then video analysis, but now he has a week to prepare with us out on the pitch.

A lot of boys respond to that better and I know his training and preparation is very good. He gets his message across.

Dundee boss Jim McIntyre has called on his shot-shy players to stop being tentative and instead pull the trigger when they have the chance in games.

The Dark Blues have yet to hit the back of the net in the four matches since the manager took over in the Dens Park hot-seat from Neil McCann last month.

They failed to score once more at Motherwell on Saturday, losing to a solitary David Turnbull wonder strike.

However, McIntyre was left frustrated as his players passed up opportunities of their own to shoot and he is looking to remedy that in this weekends crunch clash with fellow strugglers St Mirren at Dens.

He said: People look at it as if we didnt have a shot on goal (at Fir Park) and there wasnt a lot of play in the forward areas but there was for us.

There are several areas where its just got to be better and thats where games are won and lost.

Too many times we only have two guys in the box – you need to get four in there, you need to flood the box. We are working on that.

Hopefully come Saturday we can get that but to get a goal – I will go back to where we were – two bodies in the box isnt enough.

McIntyre added: There were opportunities to have two shots from the edge of the box and we tried to play it in.

So for me, there has to be a bit more responsibility. I am giving them the freedom to pull the trigger but sometimes when you are on a run like this, they are maybe a wee bit tentative instead of taking the risk.

They need to have the courage to take the risk, to play the risky pass and in the last third of the field, express themselves to go show their quality.

Thats the message I have been giving to them – you have quality, dont be safe but try to make something happen.

While looking for his team to be more direct and dynamic in possession, McIntyre does not want his players to resort to route-one football.

He added: I want more crosses into the box and we did have far more on Saturday and against Hearts.

But we have to put teams under pressure. We have to get it wide, into the box and thats not saying just lump it up the park.

But there is a way we want to play and its get it into the wider areas and have those one v one situations to really put back fours under pressure.

If we can do that and make sure we have four or five hitting the box, then we can cause them problems.

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