Dundee won’t be returning to training anytime soon.
But Dark Blues gaffer James McPake will still be keeping a close eye on how Premiership clubs handle their resumptions this week.
With the top flight working towards an August 1 start date for the new season, sides have been returning to socially distanced, small group training sessions since Thursday.
Dundee United will resume work on Monday.
But while Dundee are still awaiting a start date for the Championship, their manager insists he will call in favours from Premiership pals in preparation for the Dark Blues’ return.
“Drawing from other clubs will be key,” said McPake.
“Even the ones who are about to start now will be having dialogue about what’s best.
“It’ll be interesting to see how it goes when they do start back.
“Hopefully it all goes well and it gives us an insight into what works best and what isn’t so easy to do.
“I’ll be watching, looking and picking everybody’s brain that I can to find out how things have been going.
“On the testing front, we’re still in the situation where everything is guided by the Government.
“We know the cost of the testing, we know how difficult it is for every club to get that in place and I think the next couple of weeks will give us a real insight.
“I wouldn’t say we’re lucky – because we wish we were starting back – but we’ll be able to see exactly what’s gone on, as will every other club outwith the Premiership.
“But we’ve not sat down and come up with a real plan for testing because the biggest thing is we need a date.
“Clubs starting back now are starting in smaller groups. By the time we start, that might not be the case so we just need to evaluate everything that’s going on and come up with what’s best for Dundee.”
A truncated, 27-game Championship season, beginning on October 17, has been mooted this week.
While that set-up is far from ideal, Dundee’s gaffer just wants a date to focus his planning around.
Should the October plan – with its shortened fixture list – be agreed, McPake will take it.
But he accepts that will make a fast start crucial for his promotion-chasing side.
“It’s going to be incredibly difficult – and that will go across every level of football,” McPake said.
“Even looking at the clubs who are starting back late this week, early next week, they’ve still had 12 weeks off, which, unless you’ve had an injury, you never get that time off.
“I know players will be keeping themselves right. It’s in the nature of a modern day player that, any time you’re off, it’s hard to stop them doing stuff now.
“It’s completely different to when I was playing at the start of my career, when your summer holiday was your summer holiday.
“But it’s important the players are disciplined and do the right things. They’ve got a lot of time on their hands.
“It’s going to be difficult, they’ve not touched a ball in 12 weeks already. There are obstacles that will arise.
“But another thing you find with footballers is that they’re resilient. I think they’ll come back in right good nick. That’s just my take on it from what I’ve heard.
“As soon as we’re back on the grass we’ll have the time to work and it is important that, when we get back, we start properly.
“We’re disappointed the season ended the way it did because we felt we were going to give ourselves a real chance of being promoted, but we need to take that into whenever next season does start.”
Meanwhile, the Dark Blues have announced a new shirt sponsorship deal with Crown Engineering Services.
The Dundee-based precision welding firm have sponsored the Dee’s shorts for the last seven seasons.
But now they will feature on the club’s new shirt, which is set to go on sale in July.
Dundee FC commercial manager, Jonny McInally, said “We are delighted to announce that Crown Engineering will be our front of shirt sponsor for Dundee FC next season and we are thoroughly looking forward to working with them.”