Dundee boss Paul Hartley has lauded the impact Darren O’Dea has had since his arrival at the back end of last season.
O’Dea arrived as a replacement for injury-stricken James McPake but quickly established himself as a key figure in the Dark Blues’ dressing-room.
Paul, who handed the Irishman a three-year deal in the final weeks of 2015/16, says O’Dea continues to be a positive influence both on and off the park.
“He has been superb for us since he has come back from the summer,” said Paul.
“He is a real leader who has been helping players around him in all areas of the pitch.”
The gaffer confirmed that O’Dea is likely to continue with the armband until January at least with McPake suffering a slight setback in his bid to return to full fitness after the horrific knee injury suffered in the Dundee derby at the turn of the year.
Meanwhile, the manager admits this season looks set to be a big one in the careers of Dark Blues academy products Craig Wighton and Cammy Kerr.
Both are expected to get plenty of game-time this campaign, and Paul says he’s hoping for a return from the duo.
Praising the pair, Paul said: “Cammy has been brilliant this pre-season.
“So far he has stood up.
“It is a big season for him as it is Craig, also.
“Hopefully, they will keep improving, which will help the group, too.”