Dundee boss James McPake admits it would be foolish to underestimate the importance of Wednesday night’s trip to bottom side St Johnstone.
The Dark Blues sit just two points above last season’s double cup winners and will drop to the foot of the table with defeat.
Dundee head into the contest on the back of six straight league defeats, though they did win in the Scottish Cup at the weekend, while Saints have lost their last 10 in all competitions.
McPake, however, is encouraging his players to ignore the form book.
He said: “Nothing will be decided this week but let’s not underestimate just how important this game is for both teams.
“We’re looking at catching the teams above us and to get out of the run of form we are in.
“We were deserving winners the last time but that was a while ago. We’re on a bad run, they are on a bad run, but we need to go there and be positive.
“Forget the form St Johnstone are in because we need to go there and be a very good Dundee team.
“We have shown performances and levels we can reach this season, we need to get back to that very quickly.
“It’s a crucial game.”
St Johnstone continued their dreadful recent run with a cup shock at League Two Kelty Hearts, ending their defence of the Scottish Cup at the first hurdle.
After the game, travelling Saints fans were furious at the result and let the players know about it, up close and personal, as they made their way through fans in the away end to their dressing-room.
“To be honest, I didn’t like those scenes,” McPake said.
“I am not interested in what situation St Johnstone are in but what I will say is that I have a lot of time and have huge respect for Callum.
“I didn’t like that but that seems to be the way football appears to be going at the minute.
“It happens to every manager. When you lose games the buck stops with you and we accept that as managers.
“Callum accepted it in his interview.
“But that is not my concern – my concern is that we turn up as a good Dundee team.
“We need to find ways to win games of football and we need to do that quickly as we are in a dangerous position in this league.
“It is extremely important that we stay in this league this season.
“We will be stronger come the end of the window but we have games before then that are vitally important to this club.
“The first one is on Wednesday night so we need to go down there and put a performance on.”