Dundee V Hamilton at Dens Park Stadium : Match Preview

14 April 2017

Darren O'Dea calls for calm as Dundee look for ticket out of trouble

Dundee defender Darren O'Dea has stressed the need for calm after six consecutive defeats left them embroiled in the Ladbrokes Premiership relegation fight.

Paul Hartley's side have failed to take a single point since beating Rangers and hitting five goals at Motherwell, seeing their top-six hopes fall apart before slipping to a point above the play-off place.

But Dundee suffered six successive losses before victory over Hamilton in October saw them steady the ship and O'Dea will not panic ahead of Saturday's visit of Accies to Dens Park.

The former Celtic defender added: "It's important we stay calm. We are certainly well aware of the fight we are in, but you also need a certain amount of composure, because if you are too uptight it doesn't help anyone.

"Everyone knows the situation but it's a very strange one because last year I thought we should have been a top-six side. We didn't and ended up eighth. This year you could quite easily finish seventh.

"So we will stay level-headed and it starts on Saturday. Saturday is a big one."

When asked about the squad's mindset, the Irishman said: "It's fine because we basically had the same situation earlier on in the season.

"It was a similar run of fixtures with Hearts, Aberdeen, St Johnstone and Celtic and funnily enough it was Hamilton we went to. I wouldn't say it turned our season but it got us out of it, we were bottom of the table at the time.

"Players will understand at any time of the season, without accepting it, you certainly don't accept losing and certainly not the way we lost to Aberdeen, but you wouldn't think of losing to Celtic and Aberdeen as a crisis. But when you string them together it can put you in a bad frame of mind.

"Certainly we were critical of each other, especially after Aberdeen, but now there's a realisation that there are six games, six winnable games.

"The other teams will be saying that as well. It's a fight it out and see who's up for it."

Hamilton's Alex Gogic admits he had to quickly forget his glaring miss against Ross County last week to refocus on Premiership survival.

Accies took the lead through an early Massimo Donati shot at the SuperSeal Stadium before having Giannis Skondras dismissed on half-time for a challenge on Ryan Dow.

Craig Curran levelled for the Staggies on the hour mark but the home side had the chance to snatch all three points near the end of stoppage time when Gogic found himself in front of goal.

However, the 23-year-old Cypriot fired over to leave Hamilton with only a point and, although they moved up to 10th place, they are only four points ahead of bottom side Inverness.

Gogic knows he might have improved his side's chances of staying in the top flight but is looking ahead to the trip to Dundee, the last fixture before the split.

He said: "Every weekend I check the fixtures and the scores after the games and see how close it is and to be honest it is so close.

"In the last game I had the chance and I thought 'if I scored we would have been eighth or ninth'.

"I have to forget. It wasn't that easy but I had to forget it because we have a very important game and I have to focus on that.

"There will be five finals after this weekend and I hope we win every single one."

Source: PAR