Dundee boss Hartley to continue with back-three system

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Dundee manager Paul Hartley has said he will continue to deploy three defenders at the back, despite criticism over the success of the tactic.

Hartley trialled the system earlier in the season, before bringing it back again in the final weeks of the campaign.

Despite failing to land a top-six finish, Hartley firmly believes in the system as his side head to Partick Thistle this weekend.

“We tried it a couple of times earlier in the season and I thought it worked well in the defeat to Aberdeen,” the 39-year-old said.

Injuries forced Hartley to trial three at the back against the Dons way back in August, but a cup exit to League One Dunfermline three days later seemed to spell the end for the defensive trio ethos.

But the three-man backline returned against Celtic in March, and it was rewarded with a 0-0 draw with the league leaders.

“Maybe over the last couple of games the players have really started to buy into it,” Hartley added.

“It’s something we’re going to keep playing. It suits the players we have in the squad right now.”

Results haven’t been entirely convincing for Dundee’s plan, but two draws with Celtic plus a 5-2 hammering of Ross County suggest Hartley could be on to something if he continues next term.

But for this season, the Dark Blues head to Firhill and the latest opportunity to try out the three-man backline.

The visitors are 7/4 for three points, with Thistle 6/4 to win and further dent Hartley’s ambitions.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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