Niall McGinn in Dundee derby marker as he insists there’s ‘no fear’ in leaving Aberdeen for relegation scrap


Niall McGinn insists he’s ready to play with a smile again – despite swapping a Euro race with Aberdeen for a relegation scrap at Dundee.

The Northern Ireland star was given a rousing reception from Dee fans during his Dark Blue debut in Wednesday’s bottom of the table stalemate with St Johnstone just two days after sealing his switch from Pittodrie.

McGinn was a fans’ favorite in almost a decade with the Dons across two spells.

But his Pittodrie career ended in frustration with just two starts this season – the most recent back in mid-August – as his game time was reduced to a smattering of second half appearances off the bench under Stephen Glass.

McGinn may be 34 but he insists he has plenty left in the tank to help James McPake ‘s side climb to safety.

He said: “It is always frustrating when you’re not playing, every player wants to be playing and getting opportunities.

“I didn’t get that recently so it was the right moment in my career to move on.

“I had been at Aberdeen a long time so it was nice to get a good reception from the fans. I played against Dundee many times and it was good to get such a warm welcome here.

“Hopefully I can reward them with good performances on the pitch.

“I had no fears at all about moving clubs after so long with Aberdeen, I have seen a lot of good and bad times at different clubs.

“I just want to be playing with a smile on my face between now and the end of the season.

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“Hopefully I can come in here and help us get up the table.

“I only met the boys a couple of days ago and had one training session before the St Johnstone game.

“I’m delighted to be back playing football again, I thought we created chances and were defensively excellent.”

McGinn’s second half introduction at McDiarmid Park failed to spur Dundee on to three points which would have moved them five clear of Saints at the bottom.

But with four points between themselves and third-bottom Ross County the winger is convinced there’s enough talent in McPake’s squad to pull themselves out of the bottom two and with the Dundee derby just five days away.

PERTH, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 26: St Johnstone’s Liam Gordon brings down Dundee’s Niall McGinn during a cinch Premiership match between St Johnstone and Dundee at McDiarmid Park , on January 26, 2022, in Perth, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group)

He said: “There is a lot more to come from this team, I know from playing against them how good the squad is here.

“There is a lot of talent. Charlie Adam did it against Aberdeen this season so if we can keep boys fit then we have a good group.

“I have seen that already in the couple of days and there’s a good camaraderie in the dressing-room.

“The boys showed their resilience at St Johnstone and we can hopefully build on it now.

“We have a lot of big games coming up. The derby was the first game I looked for when I knew it was happening.

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“We have St Mirren first so it’s good to have two home games to look forward to.

“Every game is a big game, we know in this league if you win a few you can climb the table so we want to do that over the next few weeks.

“The derby will be a big one, those ones always take care of themselves so it’s about focusing on St Mirren first.

“We have to get wins, we are half-way through the season so we need to build confidence throughout the squad.

“You do that by winning games and there’s no doubt this squad is capable of doing that.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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