Dundee boss Mark McGhee acknowledged the importance of St Mirren’s visit to Tayside on Wednesday night as the battle to avoid the drop heats up.
A win for the Dark Blues in their game in hand would take them off the bottom of the Premiership and two points ahead of St Johnstone with eight league fixtures remaining.
After starting his tenure as Dundee boss with two defeats then two draws, McGhee is looking to take the next step against the Buddies and outlined its significance.
He said: “It puts us in a position where it is in our own hands. We then just have to match St Johnstone’s results until the end of the season to be minimum in the play-off.
“Any better than that would obviously be fantastic but this game is an opportunity the way I see it. It is not make-or-break by any means.
“We will still have to play St Johnstone so we will always have that in hand, but to get a result in this game would be a very positive step.
“I wouldn’t say it was pivotal but definitely an opportunity for us to take a big step in the right direction.”
McGhee, currently serving a six-game touchline ban, took encouragement from the travelling fans’ reaction to Covid-hit Dundee’s 1-1 draw against Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday.
The former Motherwell and Aberdeen boss, who will have four or five players still missing with Covid-related issues on Wednesday, said: “I was sat in a box behind the Dundee supporters on Saturday and their reaction towards the team at the end of the game was so positive, due to the effort that was put in and the nature of the performance.
“So we have got to somehow embrace that and make sure we thrive off that and bring it here on Wednesday night and obviously the way to do that would be a result, and if we can get that result then obviously we feel very strongly that we have turned the corner.”
New St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson has lost his first three games in charge of the Paisley outfit, who are now in ninth place, ten points ahead of Dundee.
McGhee said: “Eventually Stephen will have an effect there. Obviously they have not had the best results in the past couple of games but they are similar to us.
“We are entitled to think we are not that different to them, or St Johnstone.
“We don’t know what to expect from them any more than they know what to expect from us, so it is a bit of a guessing game.”