Dundee’s win over Partick last Saturday propelled them into the top six of the Premiership now Dens boss Paul Hartley has challenged his men to stay there and possibly leapfrog Hamilton into fifth.
The Dark Blues are currently seven games unbeaten in the league in sharp contrast to the form of Accies who appear to be in freefall having lost five and drawn two in recent weeks.
At the start of last month, Dundee were 14 points behind the Lanarkshire side but have now closed the gap to just five with a game in hand.
However, while Hartley’s side now have Martin Canning’s men firmly in their sights, the manager insists he is just looking for his players to extend their recent run of good form.
He said: “We have clawed back a lot of points on Hamilton.
“I think we were about 14 behind them at the start of January. So we have caught up on them and you always look at the next team you could catch.
“Can we catch Hamilton? I don’t know . . . but I think the most important thing for the team is to try to keep winning.
“We are on a good run in terms of the league with four wins and three draws.
“It’s nice that we are in the top six and now we just want to stay in it.
“We challenged the lads after the Partick game, ‘Now that you are in it, can you stay in it?’.
“We haven’t been there for a while so it’s up to the guys now. It will be hard as the likes of Kilmarnock, Partick Thistle and St Johnstone are all still in there.
“We all want to try to be in it as after the split that’s where the big games are. The bottom six are difficult matches.
“When you look at the teams that are up there just now, Celtic, Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee United, we want to be part of that, that’s for sure.
“The players deserve so much credit. It’s our first season back and we have had a big turnaround of players.
“However, we are definitely better prepared compared to the last time we came up.”
Hartley intends to embark on a spying mission to Parkhead for tonight’s Europa League clash between Celtic and Italian giants Internazionale at Parkhead with Dundee possibly set to play Ronny Deila’s side again next month.
Former Hoops midfielder Hartley is hoping the Glasgow outfit can do Scotland proud to restore some of the country’s standing in Europe.
He added: “Celtic are on form and are at home so they have a good chance.
“Inter won 4-1 at the weekend but they aren’t in good form.
“I think you would have to fancy Celtic with the way they are playing just now.
“It is still a tough game but if Celtic play well, they have a good chance of winning.
“I will probably go to the match as we could be playing Celtic next month.
“I like seeing Scottish teams in Europe. I think it’s important that we do as well as we can.
“We have taken a lot of knocks in recent years but we want to have our teams in Europe for as long as we can.
“If they can beat Inter, it means we are not too far away.”