We’ve all been waiting for Dundee to click into gear this season.
Look at that squad of players built by manager James McPake and you know there is a team there.
It feels like a proper 90-minute performance is just around the corner.
Saturday at home to Dunfermline is the time to finally realise the potential in that Dens Park dressing-room.
Maybe, just maybe it’s also time for the maligned and ridiculed members of the squad to pleasantly surprise supporters of the Dee.
I’m talking about Jack Hamilton and Osman Sow here.
I can already see the comments online underneath this column – first ones will be variants of ‘nae chance’, ‘nope’ or something like ‘what’s he smoking?’ with some swear words thrown in.
Believe me, I’m a little surprised I’m writing this, too.
Maybe there have been some funny fumes wafting in my window during these home working days. . .
However, there is reason behind my madness.
That reason is the displays from both Hamilton and Sow up at Inverness on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Jack put on an improved showing the week before as he gained a clean sheet in the win over Arbroath.
That day he made a cracking save second half and looked assured whenever crosses came into the area.
He had one Jack Hamilton moment first half when his clearance was closed down but he got away with it so let’s forget that for the sake of my argument. . .
Then at the weekend he was in superb form, batting away a number of shots with some smart saves and looking altogether a different goalie from the one that meekly watched six goals fly past him at Tynecastle.
It looked for a fair while that Inverness weren’t going to find a way past him.
For one often so luckless, things were going for Hamilton, particularly when James Keatings smacked a shot straight into his arms with about three quarters of the goal free to score into.
Possibly the arrival of Adam Legzdins has made Hamilton up his game.
The question now is whether he can keep the form going.
If he can, it’ll be a timely boost for Dundee and McPake to have some solidity between the sticks.
It is a big ‘if’, however.
As for Sow, he looked like his old self after coming off the bench.
There have been times this season – and in past seasons wearing tangerine – where he barely looked like a footballer any more.
This time, though, his touch was there and he provided the presence Dundee needed up top in the final stages.
Speaking to people at Dens, he’s often unplayable in training but hasn’t shown anything like that when it matters – yet.
A hopeless optimist, I still think there’s time for big Osman to prove people wrong.
We all know what players like Charlie Adam and Paul McGowan can do – imagine what Dundee will be like if they get their bit-part men firing?
This weekend would be timely.
Anyway, I’m off now to go lie down in a darkened room someplace. . .
FAIR play to Dundee United for their efforts on Sunday.
Rangers have swept all before them domestically and on the Continent this season.
And I feared a bit for the Tangerines considering the issues they’ve had with Covid-19 and their form of late.
However, they put up a real fight.
Steven Gerrard’s side have barely conceded in the Premiership this term but United obviously breached their defence once.
As well as that they had the Gers scrambling around on a couple of occasions, particularly at the start from set-pieces.
Looking at the goals conceded, there was very little to be done about James Tavernier’s wonder free-kick – aside from not giving away the foul in the first place.
It was pretty far out, though.
The second being a set-piece will annoy Micky Mellon, no doubt.
And they still haven’t quite figured out how to feed their strikers the service they require.
That’s the conundrum they need to solve over the next few weeks.
They have three games in seven days from Saturday.
Hopefully, they can get Lawrence Shankland and Marc McNulty involved in and around the opponents’ box much more.
Having Nicky Clark could well help in that regard.
However, he’ll fancy adding to his impressive goal tally himself.
OUR football clubs face a huge challenge when fans are allowed back in full numbers.
I don’t just mean about keeping them safe from coronavirus but getting them to actually come
back to watch matches in the first place.
Being at Inverness on Saturday, it was strange to see punters again.
But Caley Thistle haven’t even been able to fill up the 300 seats they are allowed because fans haven’t wanted to go.
Maybe for safety reasons but it might just be the habit is broken after months without the Saturday trip to the fitba.