CHRISTOPHE BERRA did his best to do justice to his new shirt number as he made his Dundee debut on Saturday afternoon.

Sporting the No.7 on his back, the robust central defender sauntered forward before pinging a perfect pass into Kane Hemmings. The Dundee striker collected and turned his man adroitly before sinking the ball into bottom corner to give the Dens Park side an early lead.

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It was a lead they could not hold on to – Jim McAlister levelled the scores midway through the opening period after a Nicky Cadden free-kick was palmed into the feet of the midfielder by Conor Hazard – but Berra has been heartened by his return to action.

The Scotland internationalist had an ignominious exit from Tynecastle after being told to find a new club by Daniel Stendel but he remains optimistic there is plenty of football in him after his deadline day switch to Dens Park.

“I wasn’t thinking about ‘No.7, Ronaldo’, I was more thinking ‘lucky No.7'!” said Berra. “I wasn’t thinking about positions on the pitch. There were a few numbers available and it didn’t cross my mind that folk would be thinking of me trying to be a winger – maybe in five-a-sides!

“Kane Hemmings made a really good run for my pass and it was a good finish as well.

“I feel like I’ve got a lot to give. People write you off because of your age but that’s nothing if you’re still fit and producing the goods. People are saying: ‘He’s slow.’ I’ve never been slow and I’m still one of the fastest in the team. It probably doesn’t look that way because I’m six foot three.”

Despite the bitter exit from Tynecastle, Berra has insisted that his affection for the club has not been diluted by the manner in which the curtain came down on his time in Gorgie. And the defender expects to sustain his first foray into coaching as he maintains his work with some of the youth teams at Hearts.

“I’ve still got another year on my contract there,” he said. “I’m also still helping with the under-14s there.

“I don’t really want to talk about what happened anymore. It’s done. It’s had its moment in the press – probably blown out of proportion a bit.

“I’m a Hearts fan and I want Hearts to do well. I’ve got a lot of friends there – players and staff – and I want them to have a strong second half of the season.

“I’ll be back there at the end of the season and see them when I’m working with the 14s.”

Meanwhile. Morton scorer McAlister has applauded the fight within the Greenock side. The hard-fought point has elevated them into seventh although the midfielder is wary of getting too comfortable.

“It is unreal but you can go next week and then be dragged back,” he said. “We speak about never looking beyond the next game and I think that is so important. We had a run of fixtures where we played teams round about us and now we have played the top teams. If we can pick up points then hopefully we can keep climbing.”