For much of this season, Nick Ross has watched Dundee from the sidelines and admits it’s been the toughest campaign of his career.
However, the former Inverness midfielder is full of praise for new interim manager Neil McCann’s approach to life at Dens — even when he lost his place at Kilmarnock at the weekend.
Ross said: “It’s been tough this year. Last season I played almost every game, I started every game apart from two, I think.
“This year has been the opposite, it’s been a lot different.
“I’d say mentally it’s the hardest season I’ve ever had, not knowing when you’re going to get in the team.
“Then there are some games I’m watching and thinking ‘I’m not going to get on here’.
“And every game I got thrown in tended to be against Aberdeen and we don’t have a good record against them!
“I’d play against them and then get taken out for a month or two, and it’s difficult.
“The new manager’s come in and it was good to get the call-up straight away.
“I didn’t play last weekend but he explained the reasons to me and it was tactical rather than the way I played, so I can’t really complain about that.
“I appreciate him speaking to me as well and telling me that which doesn’t always happen.”
This afternoon sees the manager take charge of his first match at Dens Park with a big crowd expected for the visit of Ross County.
Picking up three wins in their last five games, the Staggies have pushed themselves up into seventh — a position the Dark Blues are eyeing up.
“They’ve done well, got a few wins which has pretty much secured safety,” added Ross.
“That’s what every team is trying to do. They’re a good team with good strikers. Liam Boyce has been banging in the goals recently, so we’ll have to watch for that.
“But we’re at home and, hopefully, have a good crowd behind us and put on a show for them.
“The way we’re thinking now is ‘how far can we go, how many games can we win, how many points can we get on the board?’
“We’re not looking behind us, rather, we’re looking in front of us.
“If we beat Ross County, we’re on the same points as them, so we’re looking to overtake them and then catch Kilmarnock.
“I hope there’s a big crowd. The fans have seen the way we’ve been playing the last few games and there’s a lot of buzz around the new manager and how we’re picking up points.
“Hopefully, we get a good crowd at Dens and they get right behind us.”
For Ross, the end of the season is an important one. With his current deal set to expire this summer, the 25-year-old is considering whether his future will be at Dens or elsewhere.
And he admits it’s difficult to be sure of where he stands with not knowing who will be Dundee’s manager next season and whether he’ll get a game.
“Obviously I need to think about it, I’ve not played a lot of games and need to think about my career more than anything else.
“I’ll see how it goes until the end of the season.
“We don’t know who the manager’s going to be and we’re not 100% safe in the league either, so the board and managing director can’t really hand out contracts not knowing which league the club is going to be in.
“I’ve not played a lot, so will need to see how that’s going to go if I was to stay but I’ve still got ambitions to play other places, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Don’t miss our debut live blog of today’s game at Dens against Ross County. Keep up to date with all the action at www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk