Dundee must stay upbeat, says manager Barry Smith

Dundee manager Barry Smith vowed to keep spirits up in the dressing-room despite his side now being eight points adrift at the foot of the table.

A 2-0 defeat away to Aberdeen leaves them behind St Mirren, Ross County and neighbours Dundee United.

"We have to remain positive and keep them upbeat in the dressing-room," he told BBC Scotland.

"And try to instil that bit of confidence from the second-half performance."

Niall McGinn gave Aberdeen an early lead and Dundee rarely threatened before Jonny Hayes added a second goal for the home side late on.

"The two goals, we shoudn't be conceding, but we take postiives from the game," Smith insisted.

"In the second half, I thought we were a lot better in terms of creating chances and getting forward and we need to build on that.

"The players must take confidence knowing that they're playing against a good Aberdeen side and they're still creating chances."

Smith bemoaned the loss of full-back Brian Easton, who had been handed a starting place in a much-changed defence, to injury after only three minutes.

"It is the story of the season so far," said the manager. "We seem to be working on a back four throughout the week and then there's an injury to one.

"We obviously lost Davide Grassi from last week, so we rearranged with bringing in the two young boys, who I thought did extremely well.

"But, within the first few minutes, you're looking at a new back four again, so it's very difficult to get consistency."

Smith picked out central defensive pairing Kyle Benedictus and Declan Gallagher, who played on despite being left bleeding from a blow to his nose, for special praise.

"Aberdeen have a good front three, but I think they coped with it and I think they got more confident throughout the game," he said.