Darren O’Dea believes Dundee are lucky not to have been isolated at the bottom of the Premiership table.
Thanks to Saturday’s 2-0 home loss to a much superior St Johnstone side, the Dark Blues head into the new year with just 10 points from 21 matches.
They have won only twice in the league this season – both victories coming against fellow strugglers Hamilton Accies – and lost no fewer than 15 fixtures.
To put that into an albeit parochial perspective, city neighbours Dundee United were also sitting on 10 points after 21 matches of their relegation season in 2016. Dundee’s goal difference is also eight worse than that of the Tannadice men at the same stage three years ago.
The big difference between the two clubs’ respective situations, though, is that the Dark Blues have some company in the shape of St Mirren (12 points) and Hamilton (14), whereas the Tangerines by then were sitting 11 behind Kilmarnock.
O’Dea feels Dundee are fortunate not to be alone down there.
The Irishman said: “We have not picked up the amount of points we wanted to, which is quite obvious.
“We are lucky we are not cut adrift.
“The occasion was St Johnstone at home in the last game before the break and it was a massive chance to get off the bottom of the table but we looked flat.
“And that wasn’t because the players didn’t understand the importance of the game.
“It is about how you handle the pressure and I don’t think we coped with that this time.
“It isn’t going to go away.
“Also, the amount of points we have now after 21 games means we are not going to get safe quickly.
“It is going to have to take until the end of the season.
“So the pressure is going to heighten.
“The manager knows that and he knows what he needs.
“He is going to go and find that now.”