The rejuvenated Perth club have won three and drawn one of their last four matches after they slumped to the bottom of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League following a poor start to the season. Dundee, who came into the SPL as a late replacement for Rangers, have replaced the Perth club at the foot of the table with only one win in seven games.
However, Mackay, 32, who started his career at Dens Park when current Dundee manager Barry Smith was captain, cautioned that nothing can be taken for granted. “If we turn up with a poor attitude, thinking we are going to walk that game, then we are in real danger. It is not going to happen,” he said. “It will be a very tough game. It is a derby as well. Barry will have his players up for it so we will be wary of them. The SPL is so tight than any team can beat any other on their day.
“We are about four from the top and four from the bottom, it is so tight. A couple of weeks ago people were starting to think St Johnstone were in danger of relegation but you win a couple of games and everything is rosy again. So they are definitely not out of it.”
Mackay insists St Johnstone’s early season results did not reflect performances but pointed to a tighter defence as the main reason for the turn in fortune. He said: “If you don’t concede goals you give yourself a better chance of winning games. We have lost only two goals in the last three games.
“We are also starting to take our chances which is helpful. You know when you are doing well and when you are not. But other than one game against Aberdeen at home when we were dreadful, I think the performances were pretty decent.
“It wasn’t as if we were getting hammered and there were no signs of improvement. I think it is turning for us now.”