01-07-2017, 07:46 AM
A haul of 16 points from their last 10 games has given Dundee some welcome breathing space between themselves and the foot of the Premiership.
Sitting on 22 points after 21 games doesn’t mean the Dark Blues can afford to take their foot off the pedal but it has given them a platform to put some real distance between themselves and the drop zone when league hostilities resume at the end of the month.
It’s been a remarkable turnaround for a team who, in late October, were three points adrift at the foot of the table after collecting only six points from their first 11 games.
And Tele Sport reckons the ‘H-factor’ has played a major role as the Dee have picked themselves off the canvas.
There can be no doubt the big striker’s arrival in October coincided with an upturn in fortunes at Dens.
The Canadian brought with him something Dundee previously didn’t have up front — presence.
Marcus’ ability to hold the ball up has allowed the team to get themselves up the park in bigger numbers and, as a result, become more of an attacking threat.
Haber’s three goals have also been a welcome addition to a side which struggled to find the net in the early part of the season.
Former Motherwell man Tom Hateley took a bit of time to settle in at his new club but recent performances suggest he will be hard to dislodge from his midfield berth.
Strong in the tackle and with an engine that lasts the distance, Hateley brings with him a terrific delivery from set-pieces which Dundee have already benefitted from on several occasions.
Now in his second season with the club, the former Queen of the South man is adding consistency to his game.
That is shown by the fact Kevin has started every game this season — the only Dundee player to have done so.
His versatility has been a factor in that stat as, along with left-back, the 23-year-old has been deployed in a three-at-the-back and also in the left wing-back role. He grabbed a goal in the 3-1 home loss to Aberdeen.
At 6ft 1in, Kevin also adds height to the rearguard when defending set-plays into the box.
It took them a while to pick up their first home league win of the season at Dens but, since that 2-0 victory over Motherwell in November, the Dark Blues have never looked back.
The next four games on their own turf have produced three wins — against Inverness Caley Thistle, Hearts and St Johnstone — and one draw (Ross County).
When you take into account that the Jambos, Saints and County all finished in the top six last season, it’s a return not to be scoffed at.
Too often clubs describe their grounds as a “fortress” but, if Dundee can maintain their home run, that’s exactly what Dens will become.
Finally, and deservedly so, the biggest factor in Dundee’s reversal in fortunes must surely be credited to boss Paul Hartley.
That 2-0 defeat to Partick back in October left the Dee down, and, in some people’s view, well and truly on their way out.
The manager’s position was also put under the microscope but he galvanised his side and, not for the first time in his Dens reign, they have responded in magnificent fashion to a setback.
That’s a sure sign the gaffer has faith in his current squad and they, in turn, believe in him.