Former Dundee player of the year Jim Lauchlan expects anyone finishing above Hearts in the Championship this season to be crowned champions.
And the former Dens favourite sincerely hopes that can be James McPake’s Dark Blues come May.
Lauchlan knows the second tier of Scottish football only too well, having spent seven years as a defender for Ross County, Queen of the South and Dundee in the First Division.
The wholehearted centre-back looks back on his time at Dens with real fondness but can’t disguise the disappointment he felt by missing out on promotion under Jocky Scott in 2008/09.
And he certainly doesn’t want the class of 2020/21 to feel the same way come May.
Lauchlan told Courier Sport: “What Dundee need is to get the fans behind them by getting off to a good start, build some confidence in the opening few games.
“Results breed confidence and the support will get right behind them.
“It’s important to get off to a good start, the first quarter when you play everybody, win your home games and you’re up and running. Get a good start and kick on from there.
“I’ve said before the biggest disappointment of my career was that we didn’t go up under Jocky Scott and win the league.
“It was a great club to be a part of. Dundee were a club with ambition that season, you could see in the signings they made, and that made us probably favourites that season to get promoted.
“Leigh Griffiths came in for £150,000, Gary Harkins for £100,000 and other clubs weren’t spending money at that time. We were looking strong, the team were bang at it, we won the Challenge Cup and were sitting top of the league when Jocky was sacked. That didn’t go down well with the players.
“A bit of money had been spent and, looking back, the board probably knew we had to go up or there would be problems and that’s why Jocky was sacked.
“Things are different now, though, and I think this season Hearts are the favourites with them coming down, the budget they have and Robbie Neilson having done so well in the Championship before – anybody finishing above them will win the league.
“I do hope Dundee can do that, though.”
Lauchlan sees the loss of last season’s top scorer Kane Hemmings as a blow to promotion ambitions for Dundee but is keen to see midfielder Graham Dorrans in action from October.
The 2009/10 Player of the Year at Dens reckons the former Rangers man will be vital to any success next season.
Lauchlan added: “I’m disappointed they’ve lost Kane Hemmings, I must admit. He was a good goalscorer but he’s gone now.
“The Championship is a tough league. To win it, you need a good strong spine, a good goalkeeper, strong centre-half pairing, experienced midfielders and you need a goalscorer.
“Back in my time, we had Leigh Griffiths while Inverness, who won the league, had Adam Rooney and Jonny Hayes at that time. Good players.
“I saw Dundee last season in the second derby at Tannadice and they looked good that night. There was a good shape about them, the team were bang up for it on that night.
“Dorrans scored and he’s obviously a player with a lot of talent and experience who will be vital next season.”
Support from the stands, should coronavirus rules allow it when the Championship gets back under way in October, will be vital too.
“I hope the fans get out and back the club and back manager James McPake next season,” Lauchlan said.
“For me, as a club and with the supporters they have, Dundee should be in the Premiership and I would love to see them come up this season.
“I played for a few clubs but I always have a look for Dundee results because it is a club close to my heart.
“When I was there, we played in front of big crowds, even in the Championship. I always remember the first game of the season, I think against Morton and there were seven or eight thousand there at Dens.
“For a Championship match, it was incredible. That’s why I enjoyed my time there so much, the club has a great support.”