Dundee’s players are about to face their own version of football hell when they meet Livingston and St Mirren in what are now the final two meaningless games of their season.
So says former Dark Blue Matt Lockwood, who knows exactly what the players will experience.
Back in 2012/13, the former fullback was part of the Dee side that battled hard but vainly to stay in the top flight after being catapulted there because of Rangers’ demise.
Like the current squad, relegation was confirmed with two games still to be completed and the Englishman admits they were not a lot of fun.
“It’s a very difficult situation because the bottom line is, whatever the circumstances and however hard you’ve fought, when you are relegated you feel you’ve let everyone down,” he said.
“In our case people understood the reasons but often when a team goes down it costs the manager his job and, as a player, you can’t help feeling responsible for that.
“And the honest truth is if there are games left, you don’t want to have to play them.
“The results aren’t going to change the situation and even if you win them, you’re feeling it’s too little, too late.”
While those words provide an insight into what the players might be thinking, one thing he stresses they’re not, is a message of sympathy.
And he warned the current squad they cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves.
“The bottom line, with any relegation, whatever the reasons attached to it are, is you have failed. Your task was to keep your team up, so you haven’t done your job.
“In the end, you also still have a job to do. That means making sure you prepare properly.
“It also comes down to professional pride and with most players they will always want to go out and give a good account of themselves and do they can to win the game, even though even if they do it won’t make them feel better.”
For Lockwood, an extra incentive for the Dundee players at the Tony Macaroni Arena, and again when the Buddies come to Dens next week, is the opportunity to give the fans even a crumb of comfort.
“In my four very eventful years at Dundee the supporters were absolutely brilliant.
“If they saw you were giving your all, they would always back you.
“When we had the massive points deduction after administration, they rallied behind the team and even if we’d gone down that year I know they’d have appreciated our efforts.
“There will be Dundee fans at Livingston because they don’t desert their team. Hopefully, the players can get a win for them.”
Now a business development manager for Puma, Matt still lives north of the border, though his weekend work for BBC Radio London means he’s not able to watch Dundee.
“I cover games when the London-based teams are up in the north of England, so I’ve not seen Dundee.
“It would be wrong to comment on them but like all my former clubs I always look out for their results.
“When I saw relegation confirmed last week it still hurt because I know there are good people at Dens.”