Lewis Spence says Dundee are aiming to take the 2018/19 Scottish Premiership by storm as they look to follow Kilmarnock’s lead and gatecrash the top six.
A season that saw a relegation battle that lingered on into the final week of the campaign followed by a ninth-place finish might not suggest that but Spence is adamant the Dark Blues have the quality.
In his opinion, more quality than the Killie side who finished fifth under the tutelage of Steve Clarke.
He admits, however, that the Rugby Park outfit found the consistency that eluded Dundee all season.
Spence said: “We’re looking to have a good pre-season like we always do and we don’t want to be down the bottom of the table.
“We have a really good team – no disrespect to Kilmarnock here but I think we’re a better team than them.
“They’ve been more consistent over the season and we want to be doing what they did last season in the top six.
“They finished fifth, obviously Hearts are in the top six as well and we beat them a couple of times last season.
“I think next campaign it’s going to be about trying to be where they are.
“We don’t want to be fighting for our lives down the bottom, we want to playing the top teams.”
The final game against Partick Thistle aside, the Dark Blues finished the campaign on something of a high, with three wins in the previous four games.
And Spence says that, as well as being vital for keeping their place in the top flight into next campaign, the good feeling can roll over into next campaign – which starts on July 14 with the kick-off of the Betfred Cup.
He added: “We want to continue that on to next season.
“We’re hoping we can have a great season, we want win stuff here – I want a trophy and we want to do better in the cups and finish as high up in the table as we can.
“The gaffer has instilled in us a good way to play football, I think everyone’s noticed that in the league but it’s been the consistency that’s killed us a wee bit this year.
“We’ve got a great squad here and we do believe we shouldn’t have been in the position we were but we finished the season well and, hopefully, we can kick on next campaign.”
And Spence himself is keen to kick on after a debut season that showed he has something to offer Dundee with his battling displays in the middle of the park.
After narrowly missing out on a move to now beleaguered Brechin City ahead of their winless season thanks to a phone call from manager Neil McCann, Spence is delighted to have been able to play full-time football in the top flight at Dens Park.
His determination now is to repay the faith shown in him by the manager, who spotted him years ago while coaching at Dunfermline, by pushing himself on to the next level.
He said: “That was my first season at Dundee and I enjoyed it.
“I’ve got to terms with it a wee bit, the league, the opposing teams and my own team-mates so, hopefully, there’s more to come from me next season.
“I want to play as many games as I can, try and stay injury free as well, and just have a good season.
“I played week in, week out before my ankle operation but it was a bit stop-start after that for me.
“I’m hoping to start the season on a high and come back for the start of pre-season really fit.”