12-28-2016, 06:35 AM
Dundee skipper Darren O’Dea isn’t spending too much time studying the Premiership table right now. If he was, he admits he’d be a nervous wreck.
The Irishman believes the way forward for the Dark Blues is to focus on picking up points. Get them and the league position will take care of itself.
The events of Friday night at Dens Park illustrate why he’s wise to skip past the page showing the leagues when he’s flicking through his Tele.
With 48 minutes gone against Hearts and 2-0 down, Dundee were bottom of the top flight.
After their stunning fightback to win 3-2, they’d jumped five places to finish the night in seventh place.
“That tells you everything about the league. I’ve never known one like it, it’s crazy, it really is,” he said.
“In all honesty you need to think in terms of it as a points thing. You can’t keep looking at the table because that would shatter your nerves.
“We’re in seventh now but that means nothing. It looks like a good position but things are so tight it means nothing.
“So what you have to do is concentrate on picking up results because if you get them you are going to be OK.”
And another positive result when Paul Hartley takes his team to Partick Thistle tonight is all O’Dea is concerning himself with.
“They are a team in a similar situation to ourselves. They are a good footballing side and they caused us problems here when we weren’t doing so well a couple of months back.”
That game he refers to, at the end of October, saw the Jags win comfortably at Dens Park to leave Dundee rooted to the bottom of the table.
The revival that’s seen them get away from there started with a hard-fought 1-0 win the following Saturday.
For the 29-year-old, though, the turning point was not the Hamilton Accies success but that Partick Thistle defeat.
“For me it came against them here. It was a bad night but just a few days later we went to Hamilton and got a big win.
“Credit to the manager for that because, after that Partick game, he decided he had to change the system and that we would be going a certain way.
“At times it’s been tough because it’s not always been pretty on the eye. It’s been pragmatic because we were struggling for confidence at the time. Results breed confidence and when he changed things we started to get them.”
O’Dea believes confidence was further boosted by that incredible comeback on Friday. At the same time, he will not let what was a remarkable show of character to come from two down to win, paper over what were some big cracks in the performance.
“At the end of the game on Friday it was a fantastic feeling and there is no better way of winning a game.
“In the cold light of day you do need to look at it and assess the performance as a whole.
“For a lot of the game we were poor to say the least. At times it was as poor as you could get and first half we just couldn’t seem to get a grip on them.
“The gaffer had strong words at half- time to say the least and I don’t think many of us could have had an answer.
“To lose the goal second half was poor as well.
“However, lesser teams would have folded after that and it says it all the way the boys reacted. That can give us confidence.
“Friday and our other recent games showed we’ve good character in the squad. It was questioned during the bad start to the season and I understand that.
“But anyone who questioned it, I think we’ve answered them.”