The Championship is a lot more than a two-horse race.
That’s the view of Dundee midfielder Nicky Riley as his side prepare to go to one of the outside contenders, Alloa Athletic.
The obvious two out at the top so far this season have been Riley’s Dundee and leaders Hamilton.
But the 27-year-old, who’s no stranger to life in the second tier, reckons up to five teams could be in the running to pick up the silverware at the end of the campaign.
And he reckons the introduction of play-offs at this level has made life a lot tougher for everyone chasing the prize.
“Literally, every team in this division has something to play for now,” said the former Livingston and Celtic man.
“With the play-offs you can go up and down the league, everyone has a battle on their hands, whether that’s to stay up, or go up.
“In a way, that makes things a lot tougher for everyone but it’s better for the fans.
“There are a lot of teams who are as good as each other in this league.
“Each team we play, it has been very close Raith we’ve beaten but they’ve beaten us. Falkirk beat us and we drew with them here. Hamilton, it was the other way around.
“With those you can probably add Alloa into the mix because of the way their manager Paul Hartley has them grinding out results.
“Five teams at the moment look capable of winning this league.
“All it takes is for someone else to put a run together and they will be in the mix, too.”
He added: “Teams who are fifth and sixth are pushing teams at the top all the way.
“That’s not often the case at this level.
“What we need to do is make sure we up the stakes.
“I think if we do that, teams will struggle to cope.”
One thing that has been put to the players this week is that they are playing for their Dundee careers, according to gaffer John Brown.
Riley and his team-mates are understanding of that stance because of abject performance at Dens six days ago.
But the winger admits there is not a sense of panic in the dressing-room and the players remain upbeat.
“The confidence is still high,” said Riley.
“We just need to take these results as they come. I’m sure we’ll bounce back.
“There is going to be ups and downs for every team.
“It’s still not even Christmas yet no team gets promoted in December.
“The key is not to panic when the results come along.
“You just have to dust yourself down and move on.”
Often bouncing back is easier said than done, especially when you are coming up against the form side of the second tier.
Hartley’s Wasps are unbeaten in seven. Not only that, they’ve got the better of Hamilton and Raith on that run.
“We know how to beat them but it has been close,” said Riley.
“In the games we have beat them, there’s been nothing in it.”
On last weekend’s defeat, Riley added: “We’re desperate to bounce back. It was a disappointing result.
“After the result we got at Morton and the way we ground it out, we were gutted to let that slip last week.
“It’s a setback. We will be looking for a reaction.
“It wont be easy because Alloa are flying.”