Next week looks set to be decision time on the futures of Dundee’s title-winning squad.
With boss Paul Hartley keen to reshape his pool, up to a dozen of the Dark Blues’ promotion heroes could be shown the door.
Paul will hold talks with each one of his players, and their agents, at Dens Park from Monday to discuss his plans for next season.
A number of the Dundee squad are out of contract this summer, and the manager admits he has some tough decisions to make on whether to dish out new ones.
With striker Carlo Monti already gone, boss Hartley has shown he’s set to be ruthless in clearing the decks this summer.
Having played peripheral roles under the 37-year-old former Alloa gaffer, Matt Lockwood, Dan Twardzik and Leighton McIntosh are expected to lead the exodus.
January signings Stephen Hughes and Sean Bonnett-Johnson are also likely to be shown the door, while Adam Cummins has been sent back to Motherwell, having made little impact at Dens.
The likes of Steven Doris, Jamie Reid, John Gibson, Stephen O’Donnell and Craig Beattie’s futures remain in the balance.
A number of others, who are contracted beyond the summer, may be allowed to leave due to a lack of first-team opportunities.
Paul admits it’s a tough time of year for players and managers up and down the land.
But with Premiership football on the horizon next season, he knows he has to be ruthless.
It’s his job to make the call on whether he thinks a player is good enough to take the club forward.
“It’s tough,” said Paul. “That’s the case at any football club at this time of year.
“We will sit down with the players next week when they’re back from their well-deserved break.”
Some of the squad may exit in the coming weeks but the gaffer is still full of praise for each one of his title winners.
Paul said: “Every single one of the players has done well since I’ve come here.
“It’s been a real team effort to get us promoted.
“I’ve been pleased with the way they’ve performed for me.
“But, as a management team, we have to make some hard decisions in the squad.”