Time is running out for Dundee striker Marcus Haber to force his way into manager Neil McCann’s plans.
The big Canadian striker has started seven games in the Premiership this season for the Dark Blues, scoring just the one goal.
And he was surplus to requirements for the Boxing Day defeat to champions Celtic.
The Tele understands the 28-year-old wasn’t aware he wouldn’t be selected until he arrived for duty as usual on Tuesday morning before the game.
Manager Neil stuck with the same starting line-up against the Celts that had played so well at Motherwell and in the 3-0 win over Partick Thistle the week before.
That meant the front pairing of Sofien Moussa and A-Jay Leitch-Smith continued.
This time, however, there was no place on the substitutes bench for Haber, with youngster Matt Henvey the only striker in reserve for the Dens gaffer to call upon.
After being hugely influential in keeping the Dark Blues in the Premiership last season, Haber has struggled to convince his manager that he is the man to lead the line this campaign.
Injuries have played their part but just one goal, a header in a defeat to Hibs back at the start of November, is a poor return for the striker.
Haber has had to watch on lately as Moussa has led the line and performed well until a poor display this week against champions Celtic.
And a career that’s seen him play for eight clubs in eight years could see Haber on the move again in January.
Boss Neil has made it clear he is on the lookout for reinforcements when the transfer window opens next week.
And, although their good work for the Development side this season no doubt earned them their debuts on Tuesday, the selection of both Jack Lambert and Henvey may well have been a signal to the club hierarchy from the manager that he needs to bring in new faces.
Aside from long-term injuries, Roarie Deacon was the only first-team player stated to be injured before the game against Celtic.
The manager went with a youthful bench of Lambert, Henvey, Jesse Curran, Kerr Waddell and Calum Ferrie all in reserve.
That saw players like Haber, James Vincent, Julen Etxabeguren, Randy Wolters and Kosta Gadzhalov left out altogether.