Josh Meekings has set himself a double goal after signing his new deal – self-improvement and keeping Dundee in the Premiership.
Meekings put pen to paper this week on a contract extension that will keep him at Dens Park until the summer of 2020.
It is a considerable show of faith from player and club in each other and Meekings sees a bright future ahead of both him and the Dark Blues.
It may not seem like a bed of roses at the moment, with Dundee having lost six of their last seven games.
They really need a win over Hearts at home tomorrow to help ease their relegation fears but, if they can get clear of danger, then Meekings is confident the only way is up for both him and the team.
“It has been a difficult season in regards to how we have played,” he admitted.
“Dundee are a Premier League club and we have to make sure we are still in it next season and then the year after that.
“I do believe this club can go a lot further forward than where we are at the moment.
“It has been a tough season but I believe we have the right foundations to go forward.
“We have good young players in the team and we need to finish this season strongly and then we can build from there.”
On a personal level, Meekings is looking to put a poor display in the last home match against St Johnstone behind him and then go on and repay manager Neil McCann over the longer term for the investment he has made in him.
Meekings said: “The manager gave me the opportunity and I am looking to pay him back.
“I am looking to rejuvenate the team to try and get them back where we want to be.
“I have not hit the levels I want to.
“I am not back to where I want to be but I am working hard on the training pitch and I am in the right place with the right people to get there.
“I had a poor game against St Johnstone.
“I made mistakes which weren’t good enough and that has happened throughout the team.
“There have been individual errors that have cost at one end or the other, from taking a chance or giving away an easy chance and every mistake seems to see us punished.
“Hopefully, our luck will change if we keep working hard.
“We have a good team in there and we are together, albeit it has been hard and tough.
“It is up to us to change things around.”
With a daunting-looking Glasgow double-header coming up – Dundee are at Celtic Park on Wednesday April 4 and Ibrox the following Saturday – you get the feeling that they need to take all three points off the Jam Tarts tomorrow to set them up for the post-split fixtures.
Meekings said: “We know we need to pick up points if we want to stay away from where we don’t want to be.
“It is down to us, ultimately, and we have a big week ahead after that.
“If we can get three points at home, where we have struggled recently, on Sunday then it could get us going again.
“We do have the points on the board and we are above teams like Ross County.
“It is up to us to increase the gap over the following games.
“So from a fan’s point of view I can understand how hard it is when your team is struggling like we are.
“We are the only ones who can do anything about it.
“We need to take responsibility and put in good performances from now until the end of the season.”
“Hearts are a physical side and have picked up points from being direct.
“We have to stand up tall and make sure we are ready for that.
“We have been working hard on the training pitch to do what the manager wants – systems and stuff – so we all know our jobs and there will be no excuses on the day.”