St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright has likened Dundee’s double departure to his club’s loss of Stevie May.
Saints host the bottom-of-the-table Dark Blues at McDiarmid Park this Sunday, with the Dens men not having won a league match since the opening day of the Premiership campaign.
As even manager Paul Hartley has openly admitted, they are clearly missing star men Greg Stewart and Kane Hemmings after they left to join Birmingham City and Oxford United respectively.
Wright, who is looking for his own club to bounce back in the all-Tayside clash after going down at home to Kilmarnock on Saturday, did not foresee Dundee struggling as they have done.
However, the Perth gaffer knows more than most just how painful it can be to prise top striking talent out of a team, having had to wave goodbye to May after he joined Sheffield Wednesday in August 2014.
Wright said: “I am surprised at the start Dundee have made because they have a lot of quality in their squad but timing really went against them at the start of the season, losing their two main goalscorers.
“The firepower of Hemmings and Stewart was really important to them last season.
“It’s hard to replace strikers and Paul didn’t have much time to bring people in.
“We know what it’s like because we lost Stevie May in August a few years back and his goals were very hard to replace.
“What we had to rely on was a very good defence that year because we only scored 34 goals that season, so that just shows how difficult it is.
“So I can totally understand what Paul and his team are going through at the moment.
“When clubs come in with money for players, given the finances in Scottish football, they tend to leave.
“Strikers come at a premium, so it is tough to bring people in capable of scoring the amount that Dundee lost.
“Paul won’t be looking for sympathy from anyone but I know how tough it is when you lose your best players.”
Saints should have seen off Killie at the weekend given the amount of chances they created so Wright is demanding better finishing from his players when Dundee visit.
“We are looking to bounce back from the Kilmarnock game last weekend because that was a match we should have won,” he said.
“Killie defended well and credit to them for that but we created enough chances, especially in the first half, to get three points.
“Dundee will be a tough game this weekend because every time we have played them it has been tight.
“So we will need to be better in front of goal if we are going to win.”