Tom Hateley insists Dundee aren’t wallowing in self-pity – because that would lead to them staying bottom permanently.
The Dark Blues hope to climb clear of the foot of the Premiership in today’s televised league clash with Tayside rivals St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat away to Hearts left them propping up the rest of the pile.
Paul Hartley’s side haven’t won in the league since their impressive 3-1 victory up in Ross County back on 6 August but Hateley, who joined them last month, maintains the Tayside club aren’t going into their shells in the slightest.
Hateley said: “It’s easy to start feeling sorry for yourself when things aren’t going your way.
“Nobody here is being like that, you can’t do it because you find yourself starting to get further astray. The changing room is good, we’re working hard and everyone is positive.
“You need a wee bit of luck to change things and right now we’d take a scrappy 1-0 win to get us back to picking up three points again.”
Hateley joined Dundee in September following a spell with Polish cracks Slask Wroclaw and wasn’t expecting to be occupying bottom spot of the table.
But the former Motherwell man has experienced life at the other end of the table before and is convinced his current team will survive these testing times.
Hateley said: “I have been through it before in Poland and in the end we had enough quality to come through it. I think we’re the same here.
“Quite possibly we could copy the example of Hearts who beat us last week. We’ll take a goal from anywhere. We had some good chances against Hearts, but their goals were a cross and a header, and then at the end a simple pass down the line followed by a cut-back.”
Dundee struck the woodwork four times against the Jambos in their last outing but Hateley is sure they’ll acquire a ruthless touch in front of goal in the coming weeks.
He said: “There are goals in this team. I have no doubt about that.
“It’s about finding the right formula to break the run we’re in. We have been doing finishing in training but when it’s little things like the width of a post you just have to keep at it. We have been trying to make sure the keeper works and if we keep creating things will fall into place for us.”
Saints boss Tommy Wright, meanwhile, wants his team to seize the chance for a boost to their position in the Ladbrokes Premiership chasing pack, writes Gavin McCafferty.
Saints will leapfrog Rangers and draw level with Hearts if they win today.
A victory would be a welcome boost ahead of their trip to face Rangers on Wednesday after Saints dropped behind the Ibrox side the previous weekend, when Kilmarnock won at McDiarmid Park.
Wright said: “It is another chance to keep ourselves in touch with Hearts, Aberdeen and Rangers and that’s what we are going to try to do.
“We don’t want that group to be breaking away, we want to stay in touch with the so-called bigger teams for as long as possible and hopefully we can do that.
“It will be a difficult game, we know that, and we must make sure we have a similar type of performance and are a bit more ruthless than last weekend.
“We will not underestimate the challenge we face because of their league position.”
With Dundee United’s relegation, today’s game is the first Tayside derby of the season and Wright hopes that factor will help his players.
Wright said: “It’s a wee bit extra special, live on TV, they always bring a decent crowd down.
“There should be a good atmosphere, which I think will help our players.”