Trevor Carson admits Dundee will be motivated by the chance to cement themselves in the upper echelons of the Premiership with a victory over Hibernian this weekend.
The goalkeeper is loving his team being fifth in the top flight six months after promotion from the Championship.
The on-form Dark Blues are just two points off third place and could pull five points clear of the seventh-placed Hibees with a game in hand if they win Saturday’s Dens Park showdown.
“Any footballer who tells you he doesn’t look at the league table this early on is a liar,” said Carson. “We all do. Even after two or three games of the season, you are looking at it.
“I want nothing more than to wake up on Sunday morning, look at the papers, look at the table and see us five points ahead of Hibs after 13 games.
“That would just be more reassurance that we’re doing alright. There’s enough incentives there for the boys.”
Dundee have lost only three of their 12 matches this term, with all of their defeats coming against the current top three of Celtic, Rangers and St Mirren. Carson feels they fully merit their current league position – and could easily have found themselves even higher.
“We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, we’re only about a third, a quarter of the way in,” the 35-year-old Irishman cautioned. “We’ve got objectives in the dressing room but, regardless of the start, we just got promoted last season so our first aim is still to stay in this league.
“We’ve played every team now, we’ve seen what they’re all about and there is nothing to fear. That’s not being arrogant or dismissive of the other teams, but there is nothing to fear.
“The Hibs game, where we got a point, was maybe the only game we picked up points where you think ‘maybe we could have lost that on another day’. The rest of the points we’ve accumulated, we’ve more than deserved.
“If anything, we’ve probably left four or five points behind with some results. I don’t think we are where we are through luck or fortune. We warrant to be where we are but we know we can still improve on that so it bodes well.”
Dundee won three of their four matches before the international break, with their most recent match bringing an emphatic 4-0 home win over St Mirren.
“That result reassured us that we’re actually not a bad side,” said Carson. “I don’t want to be cliched and say it was us coming of age but it was a reward for all our hard work.
“We’ve performed similar to that St Mirren game in other games and not always got the results so to have that performance and get the result on top of it against a team that’s had a great start to the season, coming away from the ground I definitely had a sense of pride in the boys. It was great.”
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