Benji Kallman has revealed that instead of joining up with his national squad in sunny Qatar next month, he will be staying at Dens to help prepare for the vital games after the winter break.
The striker has already played for the Finland Under-21 side and his ultimate ambition is to win a senior cap.
Kallman was called up for the training camp in Doha with Finland also playing two friendly matches against Sweden and Estonia over there.
However, the 20-year-old will be remaining in Dundee with the Dark Blues as they look to move away from the bottom of the Premiership table.
Kallman said: “There is going to be a camp with the Finnish national team at the start of January in Qatar.
“I was going to be called up but they need me here.
“It is a little bit of a shame but I just need to focus on Dundee.
“I was involved in a similar camp last January. This would have been a possible debut because I am still pushing to get into the squad but we need everybody here.
“The national coach was also disappointed but he knows it is more important for me to play here.
“I know if I do well then I will get another call-up for the national team.”
Before the break, there are still three matches to be negotiated beginning with a daunting trip to the home of champions Celtic today.
Dundee are massive underdogs for the game with one bookmaker offering odds of 28/1 for an unlikely away victory.
However, Kallman is relishing playing at Parkhead and does not rule out the Dark Blues taking something from the game.
He added: “It is the second big game since I arrived at Dundee, up there with Rangers, if you are talking about the stadium and the amount of fans and things like that.
“I am looking forward to it and it should be a good experience.
“Hopefully, we can go there with a plan that works and we can get something from the game.
“It is one of those games if I get a chance I am going to need to put the ball in the net.
“It is not that likely we will get that many chances and so we need to make them count when we get them.
“Celtic don’t have great results every day, we have seen that with their results and the way they play.
“They will dominate the ball but that doesn’t guarantee you points.”
After the Celtic game, Dundee play Livingston at Dens on Boxing Day and Kallman revealed this will be the first occasion he has been away from his nearest and dearest during the festive season.
He said: “It is the first time I will not be with my family at Christmas.
“We will have time off around New Year’s Eve so I can celebrate with them then.
“My family think it is a bigger deal than I think it is, but I don’t see it as too much of a difference.”
Kallman’s season was interrupted by a cartilage operation at the end of November.
The striker made a quicker-than-expected recovery from the surgery but he admits he is still edging his way back to full fitness.
He added: “I came back very quickly in the Rangers game and it has been a case of getting my match fitness after that.
“I was told it could be three weeks before I start training again but I came back in against Rangers after 17 days.
“It was much quicker than I thought, which was good.”