Dundee boss Jim McIntyre is looking for his team to build on their last two results when they travel to face Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena tomorrow.
The Dark Blues could have secured back-to-back victories in those matches earlier this month but conceded a last-gasp equaliser at Hamilton and then failed to score with a stoppage-time penalty against Kilmarnock.
Now, McIntyre is hoping his players can go one step further against Livi although he is fully aware of how difficult a task that will be.
Gary Holt’s side’s form may have dipped in recent weeks but they have still had a memorable season so far after coming up from the Championship.
And the Dens boss knows just how difficult a team they are to beat on their own artificial pitch as he found out to his cost on his first game in charge of Dundee in October when Livi scored four without reply.
McIntyre said: “It will be a tough match at a tough venue. The last game down there was our first match and we will certainly be looking for a lot better than we got that day.
“But we are a different team now. We have had two positive results and we want to take that a stage further.
“As I said, it is a difficult place to go to. Livingston have a fantastic home record and have picked up a lot of points there.
“So we know we have our work cut out but at the same time there is confidence within the squad that we can go there and put on a performance.
“There is no doubt the surface is an advantage.
“I was manager of a team, Queen of the South, who had an artificial surface and if you train on it every day, then it is a definite advantage.
“I am not trying to detract from how well Livingston have done as they have done exceptionally well.
“They have had a brilliant season and they have some really good players.
“But my view has always been at the highest level you shouldn’t have artificial pitches – they should be grass.”
Dundee will have had a 10-day break by the time they play Livi tomorrow with McIntyre admitting the period without games has given his squad a chance to recharge their batteries.
He said: “We had picked up a number of injuries from the Kilmarnock game so it was useful to get them off their feet.
“We had played six games in a short space of time, Saturday/midweek/Saturday/midweek so from that side of things it was just good to get them rested up before we go again into another busy period.”
Meanwhile, McIntyre welcomed the appointment of Stephen Wright as the club’s Head of Academy after the 47-year-old left a similar youth role at Rangers.
The manager added: “I am delighted to get him in.
“Stephen is someone I have known for a long time and I know how good he is in that role.
“He will put his own stamp on things at the club.
“Stephen is conscientious, is a good coach but his biggest strength is dealing with people which is so important when you have a number of coaches underneath you.
“The communication has to be spot on.
“I am really pleased that we managed to get him from Rangers.”