Sun, May

Dundee’s difficult relationship with the Trinidad and Tobago football authorities grew even more strained today as boss Jim Duffy complained over the continuing lack of information coming from the Caribbean island’s federation.

Last month, Jim was angry that the TTFF failed to inform him when defender Brent Sancho was left stranded on Trinidad when his flight home was cancelled.

Now, he has been left less than impressed by their failure to provide details of an injury Sancho, who along with goalkeeper Kelvin Jack has been away for World Cup qualifiers against St Kitts and Mexico, picked up last weekend.

“I now know that Brent had four stitches in a head wound he got against St Kitts and, although he played against Mexico on Wednesday, we will need to have a look at him to see if it will effect him tomorrow,” said Jim today.

“These things happen with players on international duty, but I would like to think that when they do the football association over there would keep us informed of the situation.

“That has not happened — I only know about this from speaking to Brent on the phone. It is not right and it is not the first time we have had this kind of problem with the authorities in Trinidad.”

The flight home having taken off this time, Sancho and Jack were due back in Dundee later today. Even then, their club manager was still not entirely happy with the travel arrangements.

“After the problems with Brent last time, we requested that from now on our players return on the first available flight. Their game was on Wednesday, but their flight did not take off until last night and I find it hard to believe that was the earliest they could leave.”

The manager’s mood regarding the Trinidad situation was not helped when news came through this afternoon of another travel setback, although this time the circumstances were understandable.

Hurricane Ivan had led to travel delays all across the Caribbean and meant Sancho, Jack and Dundee United’s Jason Scotland were late arriving in London this morning.

Having missed their connecting flight north from Heathrow, the trio were put on stand-by for a shuttle and were not expected to reach Dundee until late this evening at the very earliest.

“From the point of view of getting proper rest and preparation for a big game this, obviously, is not ideal, but there is nothing we can do about it,” added Jim.

Sancho is expected to be in his usual place against Celtic tomorrow, while a decision on whether Jack or Derek Soutar plays will be made in the morning.

Soutar’s leg injury has shown a marked improvement over the last few days and he should be available. Despite the lack of information coming from the other side of the Atlantic, it is understood Jack completed the two internationals unscathed.

Midfielder Mark Fotheringham remains a big doubt after taking a heavy knock in the reserves on Tuesday.

Whatever the line-up, Jim has acknowledged that, defensively, there will have to be a considerable improvement from the thrilling 4-4 draw at Hibs two weeks ago.

“It is stating the obvious, but we will have to be tighter — a lot tighter — than we were at Easter Road. Tomorrow, there will be periods of the game when we are under sustained pressure, but that is the same for every side that goes to Parkhead.”