The table might not show it yet but there’s no doubt in my mind that this Dundee team is in a better place than Paul Hartley’s 12 months ago.
After beating St Johnstone before the break in 2016 they went into January in eighth spot. The same result at the weekend sees them in 10th.
Two games won out of 13 after the break, which resulted in Paul getting the sack, showed that the Saints win was a false dawn.
I don’t think it will be a repeat this time.
This team has more quality in it.
Jack Hendry is getting all the headlines – and he does look to be a very good prospect – but Glen Kamara has probably been even more important.
He’s one of those midfielders whose work can sometimes be taken for granted but Neil McCann will be delighted with his contribution and even more delighted if his efforts continue to go under the radar.
Scott Allan is another reason that I believe Dundee will improve more.
He showed his class with the assist for the winner against Rangers at Dens but Saturday was his first start in a long time after injury.
If Neil can keep him fit then I would expect a big impact in the second half of the season.
And the beauty of getting good results before the break is that when Neil goes to the board and asks for a couple of players in the window he can point to the likes of Kamara and Hendry as proof of what can be done. Both men are worth a lot more than when they arrived.
Neil has earned the right to backed this month.
* I would definitely expect another keeper to be brought in now that Scott Bain has left.
That’s no criticism of Elliott Parish. Far from it. He has done everything asked of him, and a bit more. The number of clean-sheets speaks for itself.
But every Premiership clubs needs two experienced keepers on the books and Dundee are no different.
As far as Scott is concerned, I think it’s 50/50 whether he’ll get a good reception from the Dundee fans next time he plays at Dens.
It’s a shame that things went sour at the end because that’s certainly not the way you would choose to leave.
* Fair play to the St Mirren player who took a bite out of the Bounty bar that was flung at him at Cappielow the other day.
Keepers are used to getting things chucked in their direction.
When I was playing for Celtic against Valencia in the Mestalla I nearly got hit by a baguette. I took a couple of bites out of it – I think it was ham and cheese – but I had to lob it back when another attack came my way!
And there was at Tannadice but I couldn’t eat a United one, could I!
There’s a big difference between all that food and the idiots who chucked the fake eyeballs on the pitch at East End Park.
Dean Shiels will have fought harder than most to get a career in football and it beggars belief that Falkirk fans would stoop so low.
Unfortunately there are people – too many – who just want to come to a game to dish out abuse.