Christie Elliott admits Dundee should be doing much better than they are in the Championship, even considering the challenges they have faced.
The Dark Blues have suffered a string of postponements this winter and then came the coronavirus chaos that hit their build-up to Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Morton.
They were left without playmaker Charlie Adam, who tested positive for Covid-19, and didn’t know until close to kick-off if the Cappielow clash would even go ahead.
It has been a more straightforward build-up to this evening’s rearranged home game against Inverness Caley Thistle, who will have ex-Dens gaffer Neil McCann in interim charge in their dugout.
Stepping back from all the mayhem, though, and the draw in Greenock left Dundee in serious need of a victory against the Highlanders, who can overtake them in the table if they travel back north with the three points.
Asked if they should be better off than sitting in fifth spot ahead of Arbroath on goal difference on the 21-point mark, Elliott said: “Definitely.
“It is difficult in football because you can look at a squad on paper but, when it comes down to it, the teams in this league are all hard to play against.
“In terms of the players we have, though, we do expect to be up there.
“So it is important now to look to the remaining games we have, get as many points on the board and to finish in a position where we know we should be.
“We have a good squad and a good balance.
“The boys get on well with each other and we all want the same things – we want to win games, push up and get Dundee back to where they belong.
“We know football can be frustrating at times and games might not go our way but it is important to try to grind those wins out.
“It is important for us as a club to get as many points on the board between now and the end of the season.”
Mind you, chaotic build-ups like the Morton one don’t help.
He reflected: “We are getting tested all the time and when we got the results back no one expected it.
“So we just had to follow all the guidelines and make sure everything was done properly.
“But we were all in limbo wondering whether the game was going to be on or off.
“The gaffer eventually told us it was on so we just had to prepare as best as we could.
“It is so unpredictable and it could be anyone who tested positive.
“This is how the world is at the minute and you just have to deal with it.”
Elliott knows losing Adam again is a big blow, as was the case at Cappielow.
He said: “Charlie is going to be a big miss in terms of how good a player he is, what he creates and the goals he scores.
“But it gives an opportunity for another boy to come in and show how good a squad we have.
“It is always important in football to have that competition.”
Both ICT and the Dark Blues are playing catch-up with their schedules, both having only managed 15 fixtures.
Elliott said: “It is always hard having games in hand.
“It is important in this league to find consistency.
“If you win two or three games in a row, you are back up there and looking up instead of down.”
Elliott thinks McCann will get a warm welcome back to the club before the action gets under way.
He said: “A lot of the boys have said he is a good coach and he will implement the way he wants to play.
“He has just gone in there and when a new gaffer arrives, boys sometimes try that little bit harder.
“But we are the home team and if we play the way we can play, then we should get the three points.”