Dundee used the humiliating 6-2 opening day thumping at Hearts as motivation to get them to within touching distance of the Premiership.
Club captain Charlie Adam made his league debut for his boyhood club that night at Tynecastle but, despite scoring a superb goal, couldn’t prevent a crushing defeat by the eventual league champions.
However, he has revealed his pride in the team at Dens Park after putting a “sticky” patch behind them earlier in the season to move to within two matches of promotion.
They will face Kilmarnock in the two-legged final over the next week after seeing off Raith Rovers in the semi with a 3-1 aggregate victory.
“I am just really proud of where we have come from,” he said.
“We had a sticky part at the start of the season and used that first-day defeat to Hearts to try and motivate us to get into this position.
“We are two games away from the Premiership and it is going to be exciting.”
‘A lot at stake’
He added: “To get through these next two games is going to take some hard graft, a bit of luck and some quality.
“If we turn up on our day then we will give ourselves a chance.
“There is a lot at stake. It has been a long time since the club was in the Premiership.
“Look at the Premiership next season, there are a lot of good clubs and there will be big games.
“Rangers have won the league by 25 points but they are going to need to improve again.
“Celtic and Aberdeen will be under new management, Jack Ross has done well at Hibs and across the road there is another derby for us.
“But this final is going to be tough.
“We have to use the experience from Wednesday and Saturday that no matter what score it is it is never over.
“In the end, it was a battling performance.
“We are delighted to be in the final.”
‘Defeat only resets you a wee bit’
They booked that final place with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Raith Rovers in the semi-final.
An impressive 3-0 victory at Stark’s Park in the first leg was followed by that “battling performance” at Dens Park on Saturday night.
Though that finished in a 1-0 defeat and ended their nine-match unbeaten run in the league, Adam says the good mood around Dundee won’t be affected.
“Defeat only resets you a wee bit” he said.
“We will be playing a good team but we are also a good team.
“We have been in good form.
“You don’t want to get beat but it happens.
“We will look over it and we will be prepared and ready to go Thursday and Monday.”
Of Saturday night’s game, he added: “It is easy to say now that it was won after the first-leg.
“We were excellent in the first game and in the second leg we never got going but we still created enough to win the game.
“It was a difficult result. We were 3-0 up and suddenly they got one and there was a bit of pressure.
“The run of form we went on to get to second place was great.
“We are going into the play-off games confident.
“If we turn up in the two games then we will be in the Premiership.
“We are excited and looking forward to it.”
The big pressure is often thought to be on the Premiership side in these play-off finals.
However, Adam rejects that and insists there will be more than enough expectation on Dundee as they look to end their time in the second tier.
“There is a pressure on us,” he said.
“We are a big club and there is a pressure on us to get back to the Premiership.
“The pressure and onus and expectation as a football club to get back to the Premiership is there.
“We are excited about it and the boys in our dressing-room will relish that challenge.
“We have a good group of players. There is pressure on both teams and we will be confident.”