Winter break will do us good, says Dundee captain O’Dea

Dundee finished up for the winter break with a 2-0 away win over St Johnstone last Saturday. Marcus Haber (second right) celebrates his goal.

Club captain Darren O’Dea says the winter break will do Dundee the world of good and expects a much better team to emerge at the end of the January shutdown.

The Dark Blues finished off 2017 with a fine 2-0 victory over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park to make it seven points picked up out of the last 12.

That good form has everyone at Dens Park brimming with confidence as they enjoy some time off before getting back on the training ground this week.

O’Dea says he always expected the team to get better and better as the season progressed but he says the next couple of weeks will be a massive part of that.

He said: “When you’re in a good vein of form, you want to play all the time, but I just feel with this squad, the time off will probably do us good as well.

“I don’t think there’s a club in this league that does more work than us and that’ll certainly be the case over the break, we’ll still be working and I would like to think we’ll come back stronger again.

“I said this at the start of the season, I always thought we would get better as the season went on.”

Although they always felt they were doing things the right way throughout the first half of the campaign, Dundee’s results didn’t match the work ethic early on.

A run of five straight league defeats left them bottom of the Premiership table at the beginning of November.

Since then they’ve picked up 14 points from a possible 27 — not league-winning form by any means but during that time they’ve played Celtic, Aberdeen and Rangers — to find themselves in 10th spot at the midway point of the Premiership season.

And O’Dea expects that upward trajectory to continue in 2018, saying their recent run of good results can spur them on when play gets back under way in two weeks’ time.

He said: “It makes a massive difference with the amount of hard work that goes in.

“Of course results breed confidence but I think we always believed we were doing the right things and if you do the right things you’ll always come out the right side.

“When we spoke at the start of the season, we said as the season went on we’d get stronger and recently that’s proved to be the case.”