Frustrated Dundee have been forced into winter hibernation as the weather plays havoc with their Championship fixture list.
Their match with Ayr United has now been called off three times due to a waterlogged, then frozen, and now snow-covered pitch.
Last weekend’s home clash with Inverness went the same way after heavy rain at the end of last week.
Today’s clash with Dunfermline is the latest fixture to fall foul of the weather.
However, the impromptu mid-season break has had “a silver lining” for some.
Centre-back Liam Fontaine has been an integral part of many of Dundee’s good days this term.
Since losing on his full debut at his old club Hibs in November, the Scottish Cup winner hasn’t tasted defeat in a dark blue shirt.
From that day, Fontaine helped his new team to eight matches unbeaten, scoring three times himself in their good run of form.
That good fortune ended, though, last month as he was forced off at Arbroath with his side leading 1-0.
They would go on to draw at Gayfield before losing at Raith Rovers the following week.
Fontaine’s hamstring injury kept him out of that one but he says the extra time off due to the unforgiving weather has been a blessing in disguise.
“I’m good after the injury, coming off probably saved me six weeks,” he said.
“I felt a slight hamstring issue, put my hand up and that stopped it becoming much worse.
“You learn that with experience, when you’re younger you maybe wouldn’t put your hand up.
“It’s in a professional athlete’s mentality to always want to keep playing, but you have to learn because it’s best for you and for the team.
“So instead of potentially a six-week injury, I was out for seven days and missed only one game.
“So it was the right call.
“It depends on the injury you have, obviously, some of them you can play through but others you have to be smarter about.
“Nobody is ever 100% during a season, but it’s about making sure you’re as fit as you can be.”
On the postponements he added: “It’s been very frustrating to have so many call-offs but I haven’t seen snow like this before.
“It is something that can’t be helped, but having an indoor facility we haven’t missed training because of it.
“It’s just annoying to build up to games for them to go off, but everyone is in the same position right now.
“The one silver lining is that it’s given me a little bit longer to get over my injury. I would have been fine for the games after Raith but just not as ready as I am now.”
Dundee’s hiatus has also afforded new signings Jason Cummings, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Paul McMullan time to bed in.
Fontaine has been particularly impressed by former Dundee United winger McMullan.
The dimunitive winger made the switch across Tannadice Street last month and quickly showed his quality with an assist for the opening goal against Raith.
And Fontaine knows how much of a headache the former Tangerines man can be for opposition defenders, having faced up against him in training.
“We have added players in the January window, Paul has come in and will be a good addition for us,” said Fontaine.
“He’s explosive, very quick off the mark and is the kind of player defenders don’t like coming up against.
“He’s come in, fitted in well with the group and he’ll do well for us.
“The manager has created a very good squad of players here, if we can gel each week then we’ll be in a good position to win games.”
‘We know importance of Dunfermline game’
Fontaine is eager to get back out on the pitch to get Dundee’s Championship campaign back on track.
With today’s clash with Dunfermline requiring rescheduling, he will have to wait for his chance.
But whenever it comes, Fontaine insists the Dark Blues will be determined to make up for the way the last meeting of the sides finished back in November, when the Pars came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 in the final 12 minutes.
“The Dunfermline game the last time was a big disappointment, for seventy minutes we were in complete control but lost poor goals to set plays,” he said.
“That was frustrating but we have to look at how we dominated that day and hopefully keep it going.
“They are up there challenging in the league like we are, so we know the importance of it.
“Before the Raith game we were in good form, we know we’re capable of putting runs together and be consistent.
“If we can get back to the form we were in before Raith you can see what it does for the table.”