26 Aug Old pals act at Fir Park
Dundee defender Darren O’Dea admits his dinner plans may end up going sour if he gets one over on Motherwell striker Scott McDonald on Saturday.
The former Celtic team-mates will go head to head at Fir Park as both sides look to give their Ladbrokes Premiership campaigns a jolt.
The pair remain close friends after their stint together at Parkhead and are even booked up for a double date with their wives after the match.
But O’Dea is worried 33-year-old McDonald may have a change of heart if his side are served up another defeat.
The Irishman, 29, said: “Scott is one of my best mates in the game and he’s probably fitter now than when he was at Celtic, which is when he was at his peak.
“He looks after himself very well. He trains right and is a winner. He’s a moaner too but that comes from being a winner.
“We’re actually booked to go out for dinner on Saturday night with our wives but who knows, he might sack that off depending on how the game goes.
“He knows that when we’re on the pitch I certainly won’t hold back against him.
“We spent half our time at Celtic arguing anyway, so this weekend won’t be any different. He would moan about everything and anything. I’d bite back at times I suppose.
“He was not happy when he wasn’t winning or not getting the ball. We have a similar type here in Paul McGowan but they are the type of characters you need at times because they drive people on.
“But Scott is a great lad and a close friend. However, come three o’clock on Saturday, that friendship will be put on hold.”
Dundee got off to a winning start against Ross County but since then have been below par in losing to Rangers and drawing with Hamilton.
Motherwell have also been up and down in their opening three fixtures, with a win at Kilmarnock followed by defeats to St Johnstone and Mark Warburton’s Ibrox troops.
But O’Dea insists there is more than just Australian frontman McDonald in the Steelmen’s ranks to worry him.
“Scott has started the season really well and he’s changed his game a bit now,” O’Dea said. “He drops deeper than when he was at Celtic and links the play. He’s a clever player but can certainly finish when he needs to.
“But they also have some really dangerous players, especially in the wider areas, so as defenders we’ll need to be right at it to get a result.”