Darren O’Dea has called on Dundee to climb clear of the madness at the bottom of the Premiership table, revealing they want to be looking at the top half by the time the winter break comes around.
There are six games in December ahead of the mid-season breather and, with 18 points up for grabs in a table where bottom spot and sixth are separated by just two points, the Dark Blues — with three wins from their last four — are heading into them in just the right form.
Wins over Hamilton, Motherwell and Inverness have seen Dundee shoot off bottom spot and almost into the top half of the division.
Former Blackpool, Leeds and Celtic player O’Dea admits he’s never experienced a league table quite as close as this season’s Premiership.
He said: “The Championship in England is similar in that if you have a bad run, you can find yourself near the bottom but three or four wins in a row and you’re near the top.
“However, I’ve never been in a position where I’m bottom of the league on a Saturday morning and then going from literally worst-case scenario to almost in the top six in one game at this stage of the season.
“At the minute, it’s about putting wins together which we’re doing and there’s a run of games now until the New Year and a break where we’d love to put a dent in the league.
“We’re on a run now and it’s great to be in, there’s momentum.
“It is true, we weren’t at our best last weekend against Inverness but we’re in a habit of winning and there is momentum behind us.
“Hopefully, we can keep that going and I’d love to be in a good position after the New Year in a place where we’re looking forward to the top six rather than worrying what’s behind after the break.
“There’s a lot of big games before then and Kilmarnock is obviously one of them.”
Killie sit in 11th spot, five places below Dundee but remarkably just one point behind.
With teams so bunched up, picking up a few results on the bounce is vital for O’Dea, especially against teams in and around the Dark Blues.
“I think the way the league is now, in every game there’s loads to play for.
“We were bottom before last weekend, at the end of Saturday we were joint sixth.
“There’s a real incentive to string a few results together, which we are doing at the minute, and you can put yourself in a really good position.
“However, likewise you’ve got the pressure of if you don’t pick up the results then you’re obviously going to be struggling.
“It’s such a strange league. I think it’s important to — you hear it all the time — just focus on one game at a time.
“That’s certainly what we’re doing. Kilmarnock are a good side, I know the manager, I’ve played under him at Blackpool and he’ll have them well motivated and organised — it’ll be a difficult match to play in.”
Dundee have had some decent away days down at Kilmarnock over the past couple of years — last season’s 4-0 win on the opening day a prime example.
And going into the tie, O’Dea and his team-mates are full of confidence after their impressive recent run of results in the league.
“A few weeks ago we were on the floor, six in a row we lost and now we’ve won three out of four and the loss was in the last minute away to Rangers.
“We’re in a good run and there’s a good feeling around the place, we’re training well, so it’s a case of trying to keep that going.”