Christie Elliott believes Dundee set the benchmark for their relegation battle in defeat to Rangers on Sunday.
The 30-year-old defender gave the cinch Premiership’s bottom side a shock early lead with a header at the Kilmac stadium and it looked to be going the way of the Taysiders when Gers captain James Tavernier shot his penalty over the bar just before the break.
However, the champions improved in the second half and Aaron Ramsey’s first goal since signing on loan from Juventus in January and a late strike by defender Connor Goldson kept the Light Blues three points behind leaders Celtic.
With seven fixtures remaining – five of them after the split – Dundee remain four points behind second-bottom St Johnstone but Elliott was heartened by Sunday’s showing.
He said: “We have to give that performance week in, week out now.
“We have seven big games now and we need that in order to be where we want to be. We are only going to give our all between now and the end of the season.
“Of course we have morale and we believe we can get out of trouble.
“We have a good squad and there is only four points difference and we still need to play St Johnstone.
“Realistically, what we do is going to dictate where we end up.
“It’s down to us at the end of the day – we have the games and then the split and you go into it knowing you have to win.
“We just need to get as many points as we can on the board and hopefully we get out of this relegation battle.”
It was Elliott’s first appearance under Mark McGhee, who was in the dugout for the first time after starting his tenure as Dundee boss by serving an outstanding six-game touchline ban.
The former Partick Thistle player hopes he made an impression.
He said: “We have a big squad now and I’ve had to wait my time and train hard.
“We have good players battling for different positions and it’s good to have competition as it keeps you on your toes.
“Everyone is training hard and trying to get in the team.”