Dundee defender Darren O’Dea has stressed the need for calm after six consecutive defeats left them embroiled in the Ladbrokes Premiership relegation fight.
Paul Hartley’s side have failed to take a single point since beating Rangers and hitting five goals at Motherwell, seeing their top-six hopes fall apart before slipping to a point above the play-off place.
But Dundee suffered six successive losses before victory over Hamilton in October saw them steady the ship and O’Dea, pictured, will not panic ahead of today’s visit of Accies to Dens Park.
The former Celtic defender added: “It’s important we stay calm. We are certainly well aware of the fight we are in, but you also need a certain amount of composure, because if you are too uptight it doesn’t help anyone.
“Everyone knows the situation but it’s a very strange one because last year I thought we should have been a top-six side. We didn’t and ended up eighth. This year you could quite easily finish seventh.
“So we will stay level-headed and it starts on Saturday. Saturday is a big one.”
When asked about the squad’s mindset, the Irishman said: “It’s fine because we basically had the same situation earlier on in the season.
“It was a similar run of fixtures with Hearts, Aberdeen, St Johnstone and Celtic and funnily enough it was Hamilton we went to. I wouldn’t say it turned our season but it got us out of it, we were bottom of the table at the time.
“Players will understand at any time of the season, without accepting it, you certainly don’t accept losing and certainly not the way we lost to Aberdeen, but you wouldn’t think of losing to Celtic and Aberdeen as a crisis. But when you string them together it can put you in a bad frame of mind.
“Certainly we were critical of each other, especially after Aberdeen, but now there’s a realisation that there are six games, six winnable games.
“The other teams will be saying that as well. It’s a fight it out and see who’s up for it.”
Hamilton are in tenth place, a point behind Dundee and only four points ahead of bottom side Inverness.
Accies defender Alex Gogic was guilty of a glaring miss in last weekend’s draw with Ross County but is looking forward to the trip to Dens Park, even though he admits it is a bit too close for comfort near the bottom of the table.
He said: “Every weekend I check the fixtures and the scores after the games and see how close it is and to be honest it is so close.
“In the last game I had the chance and I thought ‘if I scored we would have been eighth or ninth’.
“I have to forget. It wasn’t that easy but I had to forget it because we have a very important game and I have to focus on that.
“There will be five finals after this weekend and I hope we win every single one.
“People say it is not competitive but if you look at the league it is so close, one win takes you up, one loss takes you down. It is interesting to watch.”