Dundee boss Paul Hartley has set his players a triple target following last Sunday’s memorable 2-1 win over Rangers at Dens.
It was the first time the Dark Blues had beaten the Glasgow side at home for a quarter of a century but leaving history aside, it also meant they had secured a priceless three points and had hoisted themselves up into the top six.
Dundee have now won five and drawn two out of their last seven home league games, a run that has delighted the manager.
However, Hartley is now demanding that his side maintain the high-tempo performance they produced against Rangers when they travel to Motherwell tomorrow, consolidate their place in sixth and finally register another away win since their last at Hamilton on October 29.
He said last night: “We said after the Rangers game that they have to play like that every week.
“They have to continue that and hopefully we can get the same result and performance on Saturday at Motherwell.
“There’s maybe only one place up for grabs (in the top six) and there are probably four or five clubs trying to get in there.
“We have got our noses in there just now and we know it is not going to be easy as there are a lot of tough games before the split.
“But we have given ourselves a chance and hopefully we can build on that.
“You try to sort your home form out which we have done with five wins and two draws from the last seven.
“The away form is always difficult so it is something we want to improve.
“We know we face some tough away fixtures before the split so we need to pick up points.”
Man-of-the-match Mark O’Hara and skipper Darren O’Dea picked up a lot of plaudits after the Rangers match, however Hartley has also now paid tribute to the contribution of James Vincent on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Englishman had last played on December 28 against Partick Thistle but the midfielder lasted the full 90 minutes against the Glasgow side.
Hartley said: “James was meant to play at Aberdeen (at the end of last month) but his wife went into labour that day.
“That changed the plans and he has had to be patient but I thought he was excellent last week.
“It was his first game in a while but we know he can play.
“He has been a little unfortunate and has had bad luck with injuries.
“We know when he is in the team he is a good player and I thought overall he was excellent.
“He has been champing at the bit to get back into the team. What we did say is when you are in the team, you have to make sure you stay there with a high level of performance.
“James has now given himself a platform to stay in the side.
“But the most pleasing thing for me was the team performance.”
Motherwell may have lost their last three matches, a miserable run that included a 7-2 hammering by Aberdeen, but Hartley insists Mark McGhee’s side possess plenty of quality, especially up front.
He said: “We have to be right at it again against a Motherwell team that will be trying to get back on track after a couple of bad results.
“We know they are a dangerous team with real quality in the final third with Scott McDonald, Lewis Moult and Chris Cadden.
“They have also brought Stephen Pearson back so we know we will face a dangerous team.
“We have to make sure we perform to the same high levels we produced last week against Rangers.”
Dundee players living in the west missed training yesterday because of the atrocious wintry conditions that closed motorways but Hartley was relaxed about the situation.
He said: “The fitness levels were excellent last week and I think at this stage of the season, we just have to keep them ticking over as much as possible.
“So we have tried to find the balance from Sunday’s game because of the work they put in.
“We have tried to be a little careful with them this week to make sure they are ready for the game on Saturday.
“We had some boys who couldn’t make it today. They were already on the road but they hadn’t moved for a couple of hours.
“There is no point in them sitting in a car for five or six hours and then maybe doing some damage in terms of injury. So they were going to do a bit down the road.
“It is not a problem and they will be back in on Friday but we still had a good group here who trained today.”