Comment: Dundee diehards need something to brighten another bleak midwinter

The thrashing by Aberdeen was one of the miserable Dens Park occasions of recent times.

I was on holiday last week but bumped into an old pal of mine, who is a Dundee fan, on Sunday.

Any thoughts that he would be in a good mood after his side had stopped a run of five defeats in a row with the draw at Dens 24 hours before with Killie were quickly dispelled.

His was definitely not a glass half full and although grateful that Neil McCann’s men had picked up a point, he was scathing about what he termed one of the worst games of football he had seen in a long while.

I pointed out that the last time I had spoken to him about Dundee last year, he said something similar when his favourites were on one of their long sequences of games without a win.

However, this season-ticket holder stalwart insisted that while he admires McCann for trying to change the way the side play and the whole mind-set of the club, as a fan, he was becoming worn down by what he feels is a relentless cycle of grim results and campaigns of seemingly-endless struggle.

Certainly, since Dundee’s first season back in the Premiership under Paul Hartley when they achieved a top-six finish, highlights have been few and far between.

The Dark Blues have toiled in the league and only survived by the skin of their teeth last season after McCann helped save their bacon once Hartley had been sacked.

In the cups, Dundee continue to belie their “big-club” reputation by underperforming.
There has been the odd reason to be cheerful such as the 4-0 win at Killie that kicked off the 2015/16 Premiership campaign – it was an outstanding away performance but turned out to be something of a false dawn.

There was precious little else to set the juices flowing from a Dundee perspective that season despite the goal-scoring exploits of Greg Stewart and Kane Hemmings.

Dundee United’s problems deflected a lot of attention away from the other side of the road with the “Doon derby” a highlight that will live long in the memories of the Dens Park faithful.

Once again, last season started promisingly with a 3-1 win over Ross County in Dingwall but Dundee then had to wait another 11 games to taste victory again.
There was some festive season home comfort with back-to-back wins over Hearts and St Johnstone and then another notable double with victories against Rangers and Motherwell in February.

Astonishingly, the Dark Blues then lost their next seven games in a row, a run that ultimately cost Hartley his job.

McCann came in and helped secure the club’s Premiership survival with wins over the Steelmen and Killie before performing a summer U-turn to take the manager’s job on a permanent basis.

However, the Dark Blues’ Premiership problems have continued this season and despite the draw with Killie at the weekend, they are propping up the table with just two league wins to their name so far.

Enough is enough as far as my friend is concerned and he insists he will not be renewing his season-ticket book.

This is something I have heard in the past but invariably at the start of the next campaign he is back in his seat in the Bobby Cox stand.

Considering Dundee last won a major honour back in 1973, purchasing a season ticket for Dens really is a triumph of hope over expectation.

That though is what being a fan is all about which is why despite the club’s current woes there were still nearly 5,200 home supporters at Dens for the Killie game.

However, these diehards really could do with something to brighten another bleak midwinter – preferably sooner rather than later with a morale-boosting win over Rangers at Dens on Friday night.