Just two matches in November and then seven in December before a key derby clash at New Year – Dundee’s fixture list to end 2021 is a baffling one.
It certainly is for Dens Park winger Paul McMullan as he tries to get his head around the festive flurry ahead.
The 25-year-old and his dark blue team-mates are back in training after a couple of days off.
However, they still have more than two weeks before getting back into league action thanks to Hibs’ appearance in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final.
‘Get momentum going, you are laughing’
And McMullan has questioned the need for the SPFL’s fixture congestion – but he hopes Dundee can take advantage of the situation.
“I just don’t understand why they try to squeeze so many games into December,” he said.
“But if you can get a wee bit of momentum going, then you are laughing.
“Hopefully, we can get a good amount of points in December and really kick on.
“If you are playing well and winning, then you want to play as many matches as possible because your confidence is high.
“So it is important that we start that period well and then push on from there.”
He added: “Three weeks is a long time without a game.
“But we have a few injuries and the boys have played a lot of minutes so it gives us a chance to recharge the batteries and get back to 100%.
“Hopefully, we will be coming out flying and ready to go for Motherwell.”
Five away from home
Five of those seven December clashes are away from home and include trips to Rangers, Hibs and Aberdeen as well as crucial six-pointers at Ross County and Livingston.
Dundee’s away record in the league was not a good one until their last outing at St Mirren.
However, that 1-0 win in Paisley earned their first victory on the road and made it four points from their last two away games.
That’s something McMullan is taking heart from.
Asked about five away games in December, he said: “Yes, it is tough as you would rather be playing at home in front of your own fans.
“But we got a good win in our last away game at St Mirren so we have shown we can do that and, hopefully, we can get a few more.”
Ross County substitution
McMullan has been a key component of Dundee’s attack this term, racking up 12 assists in all competitions.
He was, however, at the centre of a situation that angered the Dark Blues support during the recent 5-0 disaster at home to Ross County.
With the score at 3-0, McMullan was substituted by manager James McPake after 37 minutes to widespread boos around Dens Park.
It is a situation that could have severely damaged the relationship between player and manager.
However, McMullan says the two quickly put the issue behind them.
McMullan said: “It is not nice but we have spoken about it and put it behind us.
“It is the manager’s job to make those hard decisions. He didn’t think he could wait until half-time.
“I have played the next two games, we have dealt with it and it is behind us now.”