FORMER Dundee star Lee Mair insists the old pal’s act will be booted into touch when he returns to Dens Park this afternoon.
The 31-year-old defender started his football career at the Tayside outfit, where he spent eight years.
Mair is firm friends with Dundee manager Barry Smith and veteran goalkeeper Rab Douglas – but that friendship will be put on hold today as he goes in search of three SPL points.
He said: “I joined Dundee straight from school and the likes of Barry Smith, who was the captain back then, and Rab Douglas, who was the goalkeeper, are still there.
“I know a lot of the boys there and they are great people. They’re back where they belong.”
Mair was a member of the Dundee team that reached the 2003 Scottish Cup Final, only to lose 1-0 to Rangers.
He said: “The cup final was a highlight but we lost that game, which was a sore one for us. Playing in Europe was good too and playing alongside the likes of Claudio Caniggia and Fabrizio Ravanelli were all highlights.”
Dundee finished as runners-up to Ross County in the First Division last season but find themselves back in the top flight for the first time since 2003 as a result of Rangers’ demise.
Although Mair has sympathy for the Dundee management and players after they were thrown in at the deep end at short notice, he won’t be handing out any favours today.
He added: “I do feel it’s been harsh on them as they only found out a couple of weeks before the start of the season that they’d be in the SPL.
“They will have been budgeting for the First Division but at least it’s a boost to their players, who now have the chance to prove that they can play at the top level.
“The main aim for every club when they come up is to stay in the league and build some foundations. No doubt, Ross County and Dundee will want to stay in the league and then kick on next season.
“Dundee have the facilities and the support, so everything is in place for them to do that.”