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GEORGE CRAN: Dundee are deep in trouble but they’ve given themselves a fighting chance to complete mission impossible

Dundee players celebrate after Charlie Adam levelled the scores against Dundee United
Dundee players celebrate after Charlie Adam levelled the scores against Dundee United

Dundee have given themselves a fighting chance of survival.

That’s all we could really ask of them in their situation.

‘Fighting’ is the operative word in there, too.

Because Dees have seen their side go down without a fight before and not so long ago either.

In the bad old days of 2019, a spectre I raised in my column last week, Jim McIntyre’s side went into the split on the back of seven straight league defeats.

They’d only scored one goal in the previous six games.

Dundee went down with a whimper in 2019.

Though they were a little closer to safety – because St Mirren were almost just as bad – that team were miles away from getting out of trouble.

And so it turned out with defeats to St Johnstone, Motherwell and Hamilton before a win at Livingston that oddly spelled the end of McIntyre’s tenure.

Pause to reconsider

This team is far better than that side, even if they can’t stop conceding goals.

The good thing is they have shown that in the last two outings, though crucial wins still elude them.

I said in the Tele Sport podcast, Twa Teams, One Street, that should Dundee go into the split more than four points adrift they had no chance.

The manner in which the team have gone about their last two outings, though, has given me pause to reconsider that.

They looked beaten against Aberdeen when Ross McCrorie scored in the 81st minute.

And they looked beaten when Charlie Mulgrew smashed in that wonderful free-kick.

But on neither occasion were they.

Leading by example

Skipper Charlie Adam is obviously the leader and has led by example.

But, it takes a whole team to make anything work, especially at this level.

Despite all the various knocks they’ve taken this season, the players have a real spirit about them right now.

You can feel it at Dens Park when you go up there.

You can see it on the park, too.

Full-backs

Cammy Kerr has been in really strong form in the last wee while, notching a wee assist for Danny Mullen at the weekend.

On the other side, Jordan Marshall has been motoring down the left.

Jordan Marshall takes on Dundee United.
Jordan Marshall takes on Dundee United.

A player I’ve watched for years playing for my club Queen of the South, I had no doubt he could cut it in the top flight.

Though he’s had his moments this season, he’s really starting to show that at the moment.

Mullen, too, is coming into goalscoring form just when Dundee need a regular goalscorer.

Danny Mullen nods in from close range against United.
Danny Mullen nods in from close range against United.

He’s on seven now for the season, there’s no reason he can’t be chasing double figures now.

The rest of the team, too, are playing themselves into form.

Opposite for opponents

When you look at the other sides in the bottom six, it’s the opposite.

There are now teams with their season effectively ended because they are stuck in the bottom six while St Johnstone are coming off a hiding to Celtic.

There is finally belief at Dens, and, at the very least, they’ve given themselves a chance to do what seemed impossible not so long ago.

Charlie Adam challenges Dundee to make United comeback count in survival bid as he describes ‘special’ derby strike

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