Dundee manager James McPake is backing his players to live up to the “great occasion” of Friday’s Dundee derby.
However, he has stressed nothing will be decided in terms of how the Championship will finish up at Dens Park this week.
The Dark Blues welcome rivals Dundee United to their home turf on Friday aiming to put right the humiliation suffered at Tannadice back in August as they were beaten 6-2 (see video below).
Defeat would see Dundee fall nine points behind United in the race to get out of the Championship.
Whichever way Friday goes, however, James says there is a long, long way to go in the league campaign.
He said: “The derbies are a great occasion for the city. I have talked about it before, about the atmosphere and how impressive it is.
“The fans are great and this week will be the same. It’s under the lights, it’s a Friday night and both teams are in decent runs of form.
“It’s an important game, of course it is, because every derby is important, but nothing will be decided on Friday.
“Every season someone gets tipped to run away with this league but it doesn’t happen very often. People said it after the game at Tannadice and I can understand why because of the score.
“But this is a tough league and it will be nip and tuck all the way through. Nothing in this league will be decided until May.”
The Dens gaffer admits that defeat at Tannadice took some time to get over but things have changed for Dundee since.
He added: “The 6-2 game at Tannadice was my first defeat, so it was a tough one to take.
“You have to dig deep into yourself – and you don’t get much sleep. You go over everything, it was a Friday night and that makes it an even longer weekend.
“Every bad result you have as a manager hurts you more because there are so many factors to it.
“Your biggest rivals got a big result over you but you need to look at yourselves and get it right. I believe we are getting it right.
“We have fans and players who have real pride but we also have players who didn’t play in that game so maybe it won’t have a great impact on Friday.”
McPake previously said in a pre-season interview that the derby matches were huge for the fans, who “want the bragging rights” which come with winning the ties.