‘Club 12’ had more points on the board by this stage – but it’s not panic stations yet at Dundee

Dundee manager Neil McCann

Dundee’s current league position doesn’t make comfortable reading but fear not Dark Blues, it doesn’t mean they are doomed to relegation.

Things haven’t gone the way of Neil McCann and his players yet this campaign but they’ve still got plenty of the season left to turn things around.

To boost that hope, looking back over the last 10 years shows nothing is certain in Scotland’s top flight.

After 14 games, only five of the bottom-placed sides in the past decade have plunged into the Championship at the end of the season.

Ominously, though, one of them was Dundee.

In the 2012/13 campaign, Barry Smith’s infamous “Club 12” season saw the Dark Blues parachuted in at the last minute to replace Rangers in the top division.

Barry Smith’s ‘Club 12’ side, who were shot into the Premier League, were relegated from the Premiership. That team had gained more points at this stage of the season than Neil McCann’s current players.

After 14 games, they had 11 points from three wins and a draw compared with today’s side who have picked up nine points from a couple of victories and three draws.

In the end, Dundee were relegated with 30 points from 38 games.

Dundee United went down two seasons ago with eight points at this juncture, while Hamilton dropped in 2010/11 with nine points at this stage.

Also in single figures in points after 14 games were Falkirk on eight in 2009/10 and Gretna on five points two years previously.

The good news for Dundee is single figures at this point doesn’t necessarily spell doom.

In 2014/15, Ross County were languishing at the foot of the table on eight points but got themselves well clear of danger.

By the end of the campaign, the Staggies finished 14 points ahead of bottom side St Mirren under the guidance of Jim McIntyre as manager.

County’s method of getting out of trouble was to basically buy a whole new squad mid-season.

Flashing the cash and backing new boss McIntyre did the job for the Dingwall club but it’s unlikely the same approach will be seen at Dens Park this season.

Manager Neil McCann will be on the look-out for new faces to improve his current lot but wholesale changes are unlikely.

Also getting themselves out of early-season trouble were Kilmarnock in 13/14 after picking up the same number of points as Dundee this season at this stage.

They did, however, have the safety net of Hearts entering administration before the start of the campaign with a 15-point deduction.

By this time, they were on minus three with 12 points picked up and, in a normal season, would have been above Killie in the table.

Allan Johnston’s tenure at Rugby Park got off to a poor start but he recovered as the campaign progressed.

In the end, they just escaped the drop with Hibs finishing three points behind with the lowest amount of points won. Hearts, meanwhile, went down with 23 points on the board.

What has been the case for the past few seasons is a very tight lower half with not much to separate the sides.

This time last season Dundee were also bottom, then with 12 points from 14 games. So it’s not like it’s a new experience for many of the current squad.

Neil McCann’s impact at the end of the campaign did the job of keeping them up — his long-term aspirations are a bit higher than just staying up but, as it stands, survival will just about do this season.

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