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Patience might just be paying off for Dundee with striker Faissal El Bakhtaoui after he notched the opener in the 3-0 Hogmanay win over St Johnstone.

That’s the view of manager Paul Hartley after he saw his side romp to an emphatic victory in the Tayside derby at the weekend.

The French-Moroccan grabbed the first goal at Dens Park — just his second since joining the club from Dunfermline in the summer — in an all-round excellent display.

Hartley said: “I was pleased for El Bakhtaoui.

“I don’t think it’s been easy for him coming from Dunfermline and having expectation on his shoulders.

“He scored a lot of goals there but he’s had to jump up two leagues.

“We knew it would always take time for him, we had to be patient but we worked away with him last week, gave him some confidence so I’m really pleased for him.”

The striker scored 30 goals in 41 appearances for the Pars last season — including a spell of 12 goals in the opening eight games of the campaign.

The three-week winter interval may not have come at the right time for El Bakhtaoui but the Dundee faithful will be hoping a break and some more work behind the scenes brings out goals and displays like the one against Saints.

Also getting on the scoresheet was centre-back Kosta Gadzhalov, smashing in a fierce volley.

The Bulgarian has been a bit-part player for much of his Dens career but impressed alongside Julen Etxabeguren with skipper Darren O’Dea out due to illness.

Hartley added: “He’s hit it cleanly, he’s got that in him, he’s got a couple of goals this season.

“He’s timed it and struck it really well.”


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