FeaturesMon The Dee

Tough Times Ahead For The Dee

Well, what a month and a bit it’s been.

Five straight defeats that included a 7-0 hammering at home to Aberdeen.

Following the absolute pumping we took from the Dandie Dons on our own turf, we had a few players in the media speaking in the aftermath with midfielder Paul McGowan being especially critical of the whole scenario.

‘Embarrassing. Gutless. S***e. P**s Weak. Sunday League.’ They were just few of the choice words he had to offer.

Quite frankly, everyone has said their piece and judging by the comments on some of the posts on Facebook and The Dark Blues website, they are sick to the back teeth of even speaking about it now. It’s a result and performance that we all want to put behind us but won’t forget anytime soon. It was our heaviest defeat at home in just over seventeen years and it won’t be erased from my memory in the near future.

A trip to Ross County was our next destination in the hope we could bounce back from that pumping but we would leave with the bitter taste of defeat in our mouths after ten man County slotted home a 90th minute penalty for the win.

This, to me, was a huge game for us. One that if we had won, it would have given me and everyone else the reassurance of still having a nice point gap above Caley Thistle and hopefully open up one over either Motherwell or Hamilton.

Obviously, Lady Luck wasn’t to be on our side and instead she walloped us with a swift kick in the nuts instead. From thinking we could make the top six at the end of February to being in a relegation fight by the end of March. Football’s a not so funny game.

I’ve written plenty of times this season and last about people calling for the manager’s head. Now I’m beginning to see people who were vocal in their defiance that the manager was doing or would come good, swither and start to question his position.

I’ve only questioned his role once, back in October after a record six defeats in a row which came at the hands of Partick Thistle at home. We then went on a run over the next fourteen games that saw seven wins, two draws and five defeats which did get me back on his side.

Now though, I’m right back at that spot I was at back in October. My honest opinion is that he has taken us as far as he can. We overachieved in our first season back in the top league by finishing in the top six. We then found our level by challenging for a top six place but ultimately failing and seeing out the season in eighth. This year though, we have gone backwards. Everything about this term has been frustrating and if it wasn’t for our home form from November to March, we would be sitting bottom.

Some of his signings haven’t been good enough. Some of his tactics and formations haven’t been good enough. The whole season hasn’t been good enough.

For me, a 7-0 defeat at home is unacceptable and if it was right bang in the middle of the season, he may have been handed his P45 already. Luckily enough for Hartley, we were near the end of the season with eight huge games left to play. Now only seven after the County defeat.

Gerry McCabe spoke to the press after that game and said “Seven games to go, seven cup finals for us.” As one poster pointed out tongue in cheek, maybe comparing our remaining games to cup finals isn’t the best choice of words considering our horrendous track record in any competition.

He is of course spot on. Every game should be treated as one and the fans should treat these matches as a final too. We must put aside any opinions regarding the management team and players who you don’t see fit to play for us, and get behind the team. Let’s be realistic, we won’t see Hartley sacked at this crucial time of the season. The only way he won’t see it out if is he walks.

Dundee fans are terrific when it comes down to the nitty gritty and showing our support. Yes, we moan like hell a good bulk of the time but when we back our team, it’s like no other.

We start off with the first of our seven cup finals against floundering Hearts away at Tynecastle. We all know they have the players to win matches but we also know that under Ian Cathro, they haven’t reached the dizzy heights they were expecting.

I’d take a draw right now. It’s an exceptionally hard venue to visit and come away with all three points.

The players have to put the fact we are on the verge of equalling an unwanted record of six consecutive defeats that we set only this season behind them. The players have to go out and show the fight and determination that we need right now. The players have to go out to play and fight for badge that we all love. The players and management team needs to know that the fans have watched Dundee slum it in the lower leagues from many a year and do not want to go back to them dark days.




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Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel has been a Dundee fan for thirty-something years. He Was invited to write for TEB following the Julian Speroni Testimonial. Uses the excuse for drinking on following The Dee.

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