Dundee defender Darren O’Dea has called on every member of the squad to play their part in what he says is a “huge chance” to haul themselves off bottom spot over the next couple of weeks.
After Celtic’s 5-0 thumping of the Dark Blues on Wednesday, O’Dea is happy to have a chance to put that defeat out of mind at Motherwell today.
With 10 losses in their first 11 games, a change of fortunes is badly needed if they are to get themselves off bottom spot in the Premiership table.
He said: “You don’t come off the pitch on Wednesday even wanting to look at any positives – the only positive is already today we have an absolutely colossal game.
“You can’t write off a game like Wednesday. I know I didn’t forget about it, it’s hard to take but I do much prefer having a game this close rather than have to sit on that Celtic defeat for a week.
“Celtic are a top side and they showed it – we showed we are a side in between at the minute.
“We had a gameplan and we felt relatively comfortable to begin with but, having been on the other side with Celtic, you know when you get that first goal it drags the opposition out and away from your shape a bit.
“We were a bit naive and, out of probably eagerness to try to get back into it, we’ve gone into half positions where some are pressing and some are sitting off which becomes disjointed and we got punished.
“We have big games coming up and, thankfully, there’s not the chance to dwell on it which you don’t want to do.”
With the Steelmen just five points ahead after a poor start to the Premiership season themselves and then 11th-placed St Mirren at Dens to come next weekend, the Irish international says it’s “imperative” they start adding to their solitary victory this season.
“Motherwell is huge. We can’t afford to look ahead but there is a patch of games where it’s imperative we win.
“The manager stressed after the game on Wednesday that we need to seriously get our heads on for today because it is a huge game.”
If Dundee are to get a much-needed victory at Fir Park today, O’Dea has called on his team-mates to stick to the gameplan laid down by manager Jim McIntyre if they are to stand up to a test he expects to be “physically demanding”.
“Football is 90 minutes and it’s about resilience and character. If you work all week on a gameplan, it’s about sticking to the gameplan and trusting it,” he added.
“We’ll have a plan, we’ll be ready.
“In fairness to the team, we’ve taken a lot of hits in the last three games but application hasn’t been lacking.
“That isn’t much of a positive because it should be a bare minimum but we’re going to give everything as a squad because Motherwell are a team that are scrapping, too.
“I’ve played against Motherwell a lot, I know them well and know their manager.
“They are a very tough team who are well-organised and have quality.
“They did very well last year, they’ve had a sticky start this time but that can happen after a good season.
“It’s going to be very hard, physically demanding and you need to match that but also have the quality and calmness to play.
“We will need every member of the squad, every tool we have to bring it out because we’ve had a horrific start. But we have a huge chance over the next couple of weeks to get ourselves into a more comfortable position.”