Dundee boss James McPake has challenged Kane Hemmings to hit the ground running and make just as big an impact as fellow new boy Danny Johnson.

McPake is set to hand 28-year-old hit-man Hemmings his first start since returning to Dens Park this week on a three-year deal from Notts County.

The former Rangers kid, who gabbed an impressive 21 goals under Paul Hartley before clinching a move to Oxford United in 2016, is being tipped for big things in his second stint on Tayside with McPake urging him to copy the example of former Motherwell striker Johnson whose already notched three goals for the Championship hopefuls.

McPake said: “It’s a massive one for the fans. He needs to come in and be the Kane Hemmings he was before, and we believe he will be.

“The fans have been great with every signing that’s come in. They’ve had to be patient, but they know we are working away in the background. I took five or six weeks to get Danny Johnson here, and this has taken around seven weeks to get Kane’s deal done. It’s taken a while but we believe it will be worthwhile in the long run.

“It’s great that Danny has hit the ground running, so Kane has to try and do the same as well because we know what he brings to the club.”

Dundee are aiming for victory in their first home league clash of the season when Ian McCall’s Ayr United visit today, and their manager knows they can’t afford a repeat of the game against Dunfermline when they found themselves trailing 2-0 prior to mounting an impressive comeback.

McPake said: “We believe if we get the performance right the game will take care of itself. It’s about not having the same performance levels of the first-half match against Dunfermline last week. As a group, we weren’t great, although the re-action after the break was brilliant to go and secure a 2-2 draw.

“We know Ayr are a strong side who got to the play-offs last season so we will respect them, but we want to focus on ourselves and give the fans the win they’re looking for at Dens.”