Dundee V Ross County at Dens Park Stadium : Match Preview
Dundee midfielder Nick Ross revitalised under Neil McCann
Dundee midfielder Nick Ross admits the arrival of Neil McCann has revitalised him and the team after finding it difficult to remain positive on the sidelines under Paul Hartley.
Ross had only made 10 starts this season before McCann arrived but has featured in both victories since, starting against Motherwell and coming off the bench against Kilmarnock.
And the former Inverness midfielder admits the clean slate since Hartley's departure last month has helped reinvigorate himself and others.
Ross will hope to continue his resurgence at home to Ross County on Saturday.
"No-one can relax and say they are guaranteed a place in the team because it's a new manager and he doesn't really know all the boys personally and doesn't have any favourites or anything like that," the 25-year-old said.
"It's been frustrating for me because I played some games and got taken out and then got thrown in and then taken out for a few months.
"You don't get on the pitch, which is the most degrading thing, you can't keep yourself going.
"Mentally this year it has been really tough for me to stay positive because you are watching the game thinking: 'How am I going to get on? There is no scenario that I am going to get on. I need someone to get injured and then someone else to get injured or a sending off or something'.
"It's not a good mindset to be in but the new manager has come in now and everyone is confident and positive."
Dundee will secure their Ladbrokes Premiership status if they win this weekend and Hamilton's clash at home to Motherwell does not end in a draw.
Ross added: "It's been some turnaround. Obviously we were disappointed for the old manager, we maybe felt we had let him down a wee bit with some performances.
"But the new manager has come in and been very positive about everything and given us a lot of confidence."
Ross County boss Jim McIntyre is not surprised to see McCann making the grade as a manager after seeing him impress in the classroom.
McIntyre has seen his Dark Blues counterpart working up close after the pair sat the same coaching course together and believes he has the knowledge to be a successful boss.
He said: "I did my A licence with Neil and he's very good on the game. He's a real good football coach, he knows his stuff.
"But sometimes when a team is on a losing run like Dundee were, one result can spark things and Neil has managed to go there and do that.
"He deserves great credit for that.
"I've watched their last two games and you can clearly see the confidence their result against Motherwell has given them.
"They took that into the Kilmarnock match and took it forward another stage.
"So we are facing a team that has got a spring in their step again and looking to make it three on the trot.
"Equally, we are five unbeaten and want to finish the season as strongly as we can. We still have work to do to guarantee safety so it's important we go do it."
Staggies strikers Alex Schalk and Liam Boyce return from suspension for the clash, but Jay McEveley (knee), Paul Quinn (hamstring), Tony Dingwall (knee) and Chris Burke (illness) remain on the sidelines.