Gensy Kusunga says Dundee used to be the team everybody wanted to play – now they are the team nobody wants to face he’s urged his team-mates to keep their focus.
The impressive defensive display which earned the Dark Blues a 1-1 draw at home to Rangers, despite being reduced to 10 men after just 20 minutes, lifted the side off the foot of the Premiership table for the first time since August.
And that was in no small part down to the solid defensive display from Angolan international Kusunga, alongside centre-back partner Andy Boyle.
Between them, they repelled everything Rangers threw into the box to keep up their unbeaten run, which now stretches to four matches.
And the confidence which is oozing through the team now, allied to that dogged defensive display, will mean nobody will fancy facing Dundee in the coming weeks, even if it is Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Celtic away next.
Kusunga said: “I hope that is the case!
“It’s good to hear that other teams won’t want to play us.
“Before everyone wanted to play us to take confidence! Now it has turned around but we need to continue.
“It’s good to have confidence – but not too much!
“We have to still work, work, work and not feel we are there because we drew and won one game.
“We have to stay focused and, hopefully, we can get some good results before the break.”
The former Basel defender is delighted the club’s form has turned around but has urged the Dark Blues not to relax as they bid to continue their resurgence in the busiest time of the season.
After three matches on the road in seven days, Dundee will welcome Livingston to Dens Park on Boxing Day before St Johnstone make the short trip from Perth on December 30.
Despite moving off the bottom of the Premiership table, Kusunga knows the work has only just begun and wants the “belief” that has surged through the team to continue.
He added: “We are happy because we had to work hard for the draw with 10 men against Rangers.
“It was a good game, a massive game for us and to take points was the most important thing.
“We are happy but we need to stay focused.
“The road is a long one and we need keep our focus for the next game and the many games in December where we need to get points.
“We showed a lot of belief on Sunday, 10 against 11 for so long and never put our heads down. We stayed strong, stayed together and everybody worked, worked, worked – when you do that you can get results, that’s the key.
“It was important for the confidence to keep our run going but we can’t relax, the way is long and we have to take things game after game and do the maximum we can.”
The difference in Dundee’s displays over the past few weeks and the rest of the campaign is a marked one with the side trebling their points total in the last four matches.
And Kusunga says taking responsibility as a team rather than pointing to individual errors has been a massive factor.
He said: “Everybody is taking responsibility. Before we could always say we didn’t win because of one mistake, you need to take responsibility and work like men.”
And he’s urged the Dark Blues to repeat their show against Rangers in the coming weeks.
He added: “Every game is hard, the opponents are strong in every game and we can’t think about playing a small team or playing a big team.
“Every match is difficult and we need to work hard the same against whoever we play.”