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Dundee boss Paul Hartley has praised his players for returning from their winter week off in top condition.

After tough training sessions when they reported back on Monday and again the next morning, Paul used all 21 available personnel in Tuesday night’s friendly win at Arbroath.

He was delighted with the work they put in during the 2-0 victory and the fact they clearly looked after themselves during their time off.

“I was pleased because we basically had two teams out,” said Paul of an encouraging 90 minutes that saw Marcus Haber and Craig Wighton net in the second half to ease the Dark Blues to victory.

“First half there was some really good football without any goals. Second half we get the goals and the game changed a wee bit because the wind picked up.

“Overall, I thought it was a good exercise for us and the players were very sharp. They came back on Monday after a week off but they’ve looked very sharp.

“And I think the strength of the squad was there to see. I was pleased for Haber to get a goal and then he created a goal and I thought we were always a threat in the final third.”

One noticeable absentee from the Dundee ranks was striker Rory Loy, who is expected to complete a loan move to Championship strugglers St Mirren.

The Buddies are due to be at Dens Park to take on the Dark Blues in the Scottish Cup next weekend.

However, should his move go through, Loy will not be allowed to face his parent club in that fourth-round tie.

Paul said: “It looks like he is going to get a loan move done, to probably St Mirren, over the next 24 hours or so.

“It’s been agreed and we are just waiting on the paperwork being done.”

As well as studying players in his own team last night, the manager was playing particular attention to one of the opposition ranks — Josh Skelly.

He’s on a season-long loan from Dens and his permanent boss is pleased with the progress he’s making under Dick Campbell at the Red Lichties.

“He did OK,” added Hartley.

“I think it’s important for the young players to go out on loan. Going out and getting what I would call real football is better experience than the Development League.”


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