Jordan McGhee is confident Dundee are beginning to “click” as they aim to close the gap on Championship leaders Dundee United.
The Dark Blues host Greenock Morton at Dens tonight and the early date gives them a chance – for a few hours at least – to move to within three points of the Tangerines, who travel to Inverness tomorrow afternoon.
With the second city derby of the season now looming large on the horizon – next Friday at Dens to be precise – victory over the Cappielow side would be very timely indeed.
The good news, according to defender McGhee, is that back-to-back wins on the road against first Ayr then Alloa have provided proof that Dundee are gradually looking more like the team most people expected them to be when the pre-season predictions were being made.
The former Hearts and Falkirk player said: “Results have started to pick up and so have the performances.
“It is starting to click.
“Hopefully, we can keep the run going.
“We always knew – from day one of the season – that how we train, how we work and the people in the squad would mean we would get there.
“In every position, you look and see a top player so it is fair to say that we expected things to pick up.
“It has been really good for us recently so that must continue when we face Morton.”
If one player has personified the feelgood factor at Dens it is Kane Hemmings.
He hadn’t scored since the last derby at Tannadice but hit the back of the net twice against and looks ready to add a few more.
McGhee never doubted his teammate, saying: “I played against Kano when I was at Hearts and he was always a handful.
“I never liked playing against him and that’s a compliment.
“He was strong, quick and could finish. He still has all those attributes.
“Even though he hadn’t been scoring he was doing a lot for the team, bringing us all up the pitch and creating chances for others.
“Now, thankfully, he got his goals against Alloa and can go on a run and win some games for us.”
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The Dark Blues lost the first clash of the season against Morton in the west back on September 21, with Peter Grant’s header the only goal of that game.
It was a frustrating outcome for the Dens men, with failure to defend a setplay properly undoing a lot of decent attacking play.
McGhee said: “I think we played all right in that game.
“We passed the ball about nicely even though the pitch was sticky.
“We lost a goal at a setpiece and that was a hard one to take because we had competed so well.
“It wasn’t to be and you do get those games.
“Now we have a chance to put it right.
“This is a massive week for us and hopefully we can end it with nine points from three matches.”
If they do mae it nine then it will be the perfect preparation for the visit of United the following Friday but McGhee is staying focused on the task in hand.
He added: “I don’t think you can look that far ahead.
“I know the derby is a huge game for the city and I have seen stuff on Twitter about it already.
“It is on the horizon but we have to concentrate on getting past Morton first and then the United match will take care of itself.
“We will then have a full week to prepare and get ready to go against them.”
Dundee could still be without Josh Todd, with manager James McPake commenting: “He still has his stitches in his shin so he is the only doubt.”
McPake is backing his players to be cope with the three matches in a week schedule.
He said: “It is great to have all these games.
“The players are looked after as far as fitness and recovery and they actually look forward to playing matches so close together.
“The performances are getting better.
“Tuesday night’s was our best one so far, while Friday was different and we showed a lot of character to come through that.
“It is about getting that balance of being really good in games while showing the other side, dig in and be horrible.
“The level of consistency is getting better but we can always improve.”
With the leading four teams in the division all winning in midweek – United, Ayr, Inverness and Dundee – you could argue that a bit of a split is developing between them and the rest.
However, McPake said: “It is still very early.
“There is still too much football to be played to be thinking about that, in my opinion.”