Dundee manager Jim McIntyre has urged his players not to take too much notice of Hearts talisman Steven Naismith’s absence today.
The Dark Blues host the Jambos at Dens Park in a crucial match as they continue their battle to avoid the drop.
While Jim looks likely to be without strikers Andrew Nelson and Craig Curran, his counterpart Craig Levein will definitely be missing his forward talisman.
Steven Naismith has returned to parent club Norwich to have surgery on his injured knee and is likely to be out of action for the next 10 weeks.
As much as that might be a positive for Dundee, however, Jim is wary of ignoring the other threats in the Hearts side.
He said: “Naismith knits a lot of it together for Hearts.
“He’s such a clever player and, with his experience, he has a heavy influence on other players.
“But they’ve still got a wide variety of options and Craig (Levein) can change systems.
“I watched them on Monday night and they blew Thistle away in the first half. Credit to Thistle for getting back into it in the second half but Hearts should have been out of sight. They’re very strong and have a real threat on set-plays. You need to handle their physicality.
“They’re far from a one-man team. They’ve got the likes of Djoum, Clare and Bozanic and Olly Lee is another good midfielder. They have plenty of options and plenty strength in depth so we know it will be tough but we’re at home and we want to make that count.”
With St Mirren playing on Monday night against Kilmarnock, the Dens gaffer is keen for his side to take advantage by putting points on the board and stretching a gap between the sides.
“I think any time you play before one of your rivals then it’s good to get the points on board,” added Jim.
“Really we just concern ourselves about us and try to win the game that’s in front of us so we can affect the table – that’s what we’ll continue to do.
“We all know it’s a three-team league.
“It’s about who finishes third bottom, who finishes in the play-off and who gets relegated.
“From that side of things for us it’s just one game at a time – it might be boring but it’s the truth.
“We’re in the middle of a difficult set of fixtures, playing the top sides in the league.
“All we can do is win the game in front of us.”