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BRENT SANCHO last night told Nacho Novo his birthday bash won't begin in earnest until after he snuffs out the threat of the Rangers striker.

Dundee defender Sancho is preparing to celebrate his 28th birthday on Sunday, when the little Spaniard returns to face his former club in the live TV clash at Dens Park.

Then he will meet up with close pal Novo after the final whistle to savour his special day.

But Sancho warned him not to expect any extra goodwill. He said: 'I'll probably hang out with Nacho as he might be staying on. We're good friends but we won't be doing any talking until after the match.

'It would be the icing on my cake for us to keep a clean sheet and get a victory.

'Nacho has done brilliantly since going to Rangers and I never had any doubts he'd succeed.'

Sancho missed last weekend's 1-0 defeat by Livingston which infuriated boss Jim Duffy.

But the Trinidad and Tobago star is poised to be brought back into action in a bid to avoid a fourth straight defeat and the prospect of Livi overtaking them in the table.

Sancho hopes Duffy's ban on all joking in the build-up to this weekend acts as a wake-up call in their fight for SPL survival.

He said: 'This is a massive game for us after what happened last week. We'll have to fight and scratch like dogs.

'Even if the gaffer hadn't said what he said this week,the players would know themselves that it's not acceptable.'

Sancho's form could also win him a move to bigger things once his deal expires in the summer.

But he would have no qualms about committing his future to the Dark Blues for a while longer.

He said: 'It's still too early to say what will happen but I've really enjoyed my time at Dundee under Jim Duffy - he has taught me so much.'

Duffy could be set to hand Scott Robertson his first SPL start against Rangers.

The 19-year-old midfielder made his debut against Hibs in the Scottish Cup in January.

Duffy said: 'We have high hopes for Scott and he's in the frame to be involved in this game.'