Despite only signing for the club a couple of weeks ago, Andy Dales was already one of Dundee’s old guard in their 1-1 draw at Hamilton.
In a starting XI with five debutants after a recruitment drive in the January transfer window, only three players had played more matches for Dundee than Dales – Nathan Ralph, Gensy Kusunga and Martin Woods.
Despite the unfamiliarity between the players, the Dark Blues were minutes away from grabbing a vital three points in their quest to avoid relegation to the Championship.
Deadline-day loan signing Scott Wright grabbed a debut goal to put the Dens men 1-0 up after 66 minutes before Accies midfielder Darian MacKinnon snatched a draw for his side with a super strike moments after the match went into stoppage time.
And Scunthorpe-loanee Dales insists if Dundee can keep up the level of workrate they showed in that one tonight at home to Kilmarnock, they can get the win they crave.
Asked whether he knew all of his fellow starters’ names before the match began, Dales joked: “Yeah, just about!”
He added: “We can take a lot from the game.
“It felt like a loss for us and a win for them. That happens with late goals but we still have to take confidence because it still was a good performance.
“I came in two weeks ago and we had five new boys on the deadline.
“They’ve only trained once so it was always going to be hard but in periods of the game you could see we can all play together and how it can come off.
“Hopefully, we can show more of that in the upcoming games.
“It’s always disappointing to concede a last-minute goal but I think the boys worked their socks off. The performance might not have been as good as against Motherwell and Hearts but every one of us certainly put everything in.
“Unfortunately, a strike like that happens and you can’t do anything about it.”
Despite only signing for the Dark Blues on January 15, Dales has already featured five times for the club and is set for his sixth turn-out in tonight’s clash at home to high-flying Kilmarnock.
It’s been a non-stop start to life at Dens Park for the 24-year-old who is enjoying life already in the Scottish top flight and is hoping to experience his first victory in dark blue in just over 24 hours’ time.
He added: “I think I’ve settled in quite well.
“It’s definitely different up here, it’s a lot quicker, up and down all the time but I think that suits me.
“That’s my game, to be dynamic, so I think it probably suits me more up here than down in League One.
“I’ve only been here a couple of weeks and I’ve already played four-and-a-half games in two weeks.
“Some of the others have played five so it has been pretty thick and fast but if we can put another good performance on again I think we can get the three points.
“It’s a great opportunity to do that as long as we work as hard as we did on Saturday. If all the lads put in 110% like that I don’t see why we can’t get the three points.”
Despite coming in from mid-table League One side Scunthorpe to join Dundee’s push to avoid relegation from the Premiership, Dales says he’s up for the challenge.
“Some people prefer to go into a promotion-chasing team but, for me, there’s nothing wrong with being in a relegation battle.
“I’m up for that and I think every single player in the changing-room is definitely up for it.
“With the quality we have and, if we can keep showing that for most of the game, there’s no reason why we can’t get to where we should be.”