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James McPake challenges Dundee to "compete" in Scottish Premiership

James McPake challenges Dundee to
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James McPake's side earned a cinch Premiership return when they beat Kilmarnock home and away in the play-offs.

Dundee boss James McPake has challenged his players to prove they can consistently compete in the top flight.

McPake's side earned a cinch Premiership return when they beat Kilmarnock home and away in the play-offs following a string finish to the Championship season.

Dundee also suffered narrow cup defeats against top-six sides Hibernian and St Johnstone.

But McPake knows they have to be wary of the standard of opponent as they prepare to open the season against St Mirren at the Kilmac Stadium.

"We need to be conscious of the fact that we are in against better opposition," McPake said on the club's website.

"That's no disrespect to the Championship. There are some good teams and you get some very tough games in that league but the Premiership is a step up.

"It's a step we feel we are ready for and we proved last season against Premiership opposition, that we can compete.

"It's OK in cup ties or in play-offs but we have to prove it week in week out but it's a challenge we are looking forward to and we can't wait."

Around three-quarters of Dundee's season ticket holders will gain access as crowd restrictions ease.

"Taking a squad up to the Premiership in front of these fans brings it's own pressures because they demand that you win games," McPake said.

"Whether it's in the Premiership or the Championship they want to see a team that will win games, that will excite them and that will fight for the jersey and that is what we are going to promise them."

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Jak Alnwick pictured in February 2016
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