Dundee cult hero Les Barr is hopeful the current Dee crop have the right mindset to get out of a tough Championship next season.
Former Dark Blues right-back Barr knows a thing or two about escaping from Scotland’s second tier – having done so twice in his four years at Dens Park.
The 67-year-old, who made 129 appearances in the dark blue, won the title in 1979 and promotion in 1981 with relegation sandwiched in between.
Barr is now hopeful James McPake’s men can get off to a good start and have their own success when the action gets under way in October.
“It’s so hard to get out of that league,” the former Montrose man said.
“You don’t get as much chance to play football as you do in the Premiership – there’s no doubt about that.
“You’ve got guys in and about you working hard, biting at your ankles and you go to places you’re not used to either.
“You’re going to Ibrox and Parkhead in the Premiership whereas you’ve maybe got Queen of the South on a Wednesday night to look forward to it’s a different story altogether.
“A different mindset is required and that’s where you find out the players you need and the players you don’t.
“You need workers as well as quality. The most important thing, for me, in the Championship is somewhere through the season you’re going to hit a bad spell.
“Whether that’s the middle, the start or the end, but if you can put together a good run you’re away.
“A good start helps because if not you’re spending the whole season fighting for points and chipping away at others.
“When we went down we got off to a good start, winning 12 in a row or something and went straight back up.
“It can seem to go against you a lot when you have a bad start. Hopefully, Dundee start well and they can get up.”
Barr reckons Dundee can look across the road at what Dundee United, and specifically Lawrence Shankland, achieved last season for inspiration.
Under the guidance of ex-boss Robbie Neilson, and led by Shankland’s goals, the Terrors romped to the title last term.
He continued: “I think if you don’t come up in the first couple years you’re really going to struggle.
“It was a bit different with United because they got a manager in Robbie Neilson who I thought was really good and brought in top players.
“If they didn’t have Shankland, I’m quite convinced they wouldn’t have gone up – that’s the way I feel.
“I thought Shankland was absolutely magnificent.
“It wasn’t easy either, because the pressure was put on him to score goals, and didn’t he score goals?
“He’s a superb player.
“When I saw Dundee last season they didn’t get the service to the frontmen, which I thought was definitely lacking.
“They need boys to get wide and put the ball into the box. Shankland is the type who feeds off that.
“Ally McCoist was like that, he was a predator. There’s no luck involved with these guys, it’s all skill and they know where it’s going to land.
“If their strikers get the service in that division I’m sure they’ll do the business as well.”
One player Barr thinks the Dark Blues will be looking to as a leader is Paul McGowan.
The veteran midfielder, who has made over 200 appearances for the Dee, recently signed a new deal at the club and will act as vice-captain to Jordan McGhee for the new term.
Barr says his influence cannot be overstated.
“You need those boys,” he added.
“When I was at Dens I was never one who would shout at players but we had Bobby Glennie and later guys like John McCormack and Jim Duffy that did that.
“You need them guys to stay on top of you.
“People say individuals don’t make a team and that’s true but boys like McGowan, who maybe aren’t the most technically-gifted, are needed to make you play.
“They make their teams tick. You absolutely need that to keep you going.”