Paul McGowan says it’s “paramount” Dundee finish off a miserable 2018 with a victory as they welcome St Johnstone to Dens Park today.
The winter break beckons after the final whistle and the Dark Blues midfielder wants to be heading into the time off by ending on a positive note.
And, if results elsewhere go their way, that could see them off the bottom of the Premiership table going into the second half of the campaign.
The Perth Saints, however, have been in mean form of late – winning seven of their last 11 and keeping eight clean sheets in the process.
Dundee’s home form makes good reading, too, though, and ‘Gowser’ has called on a repeat performance of the battling 0-0 draw against Livingston on Wednesday.
He accepts, however, they’ll need to provide better service to the strikers if they are to get the win they crave.
He told the Tele: “We want to finish with a win, it’s paramount we finish the year with a victory.
“Going into a week or so off with a win will do our confidence no harm at all.
“It will be a tough game and we will need to battle like we did on Wednesday to get anything from it.
“That’s us four unbeaten going into another tough game against St Johnstone.
“I feel if we play like we did on Wednesday, starting with a clean sheet is always the way forward and if we can start scoring goals again we’ll win games.
“Our end ball, though, has to be better into the strikers. We need to give them something to prey on.
“We’re getting into good areas out wide but the final ball is either too much or not beating the first man.”
He added: “We know what we will get from St Johnstone, it will be another tough game, like Livingston.
“I just hope we have turned a corner now.
“I felt we looked solid, we worked for each other, filling in for each other and it was enjoyable to play in that game.
“The three before Wednesday weren’t great but that was back to our old selves.”
In the past three seasons, it’s been all level in the battles between the top-flight’s Tayside teams with four wins apiece in the last eight.
And the 31-year-old expects yet another close encounter.
He said: “It’s been mixed against St Johnstone for us lately.
“Tommy Wright’s brought in some good players and they are doing well this season.
“Nearly every season you say that – you think they are going to hit a blip but they just don’t.
“They can grind out results but they’ve been playing good football as well and can mix it up.
“It will be tough and we need to be at it.”
After defeats to Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Celtic, McGowan feels the point against Livingston on Boxing Day is a step back in the right direction.
“We earned a clean sheet from a tough game – Livi kept launching balls and we had to stand up and be counted,” he said.
“I felt we did that well but we lacked the cutting edge, the final ball when getting into good areas. It’s a step back in the right direction and, hopefully, be a good point in the end.
“Livingston’s gameplan was to go direct and put balls into the box to make things hard for us but I felt we stood up to it very well, I can’t think of them having a clear chance.
“A draw was probably a fair result but I felt we were the better team.Hopefully, it’s a good point come the end of the season.”