Pointless in Dundee - what now for Neil McCann's side?

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Highlights: Rangers 4-0 Dundee

If you look up the term 'slow starters' you may well see the picture of a Dundee club crest.

The Dens Park club currently sit bottom of the Scottish Premiership with no points from their first five games after Saturday's 4-0 drubbing by Rangers.

Already supporters of the Tayside club are fearing that their side's four-year stint in the top flight is on a shaky peg.

However, are things as bad as they appear at Dundee?

How things stand so far

Five games, no clean sheets, no points and only two goals - there hasn't been much to cheer from a Dundee fan's perspective.

They have lost seven goals in their past two games, while there is little comfort to be garnered from the League Cup - Ayr United turfed out Neil McCann's nine men with a 3-0 win at home.

Despite that poor start, they still remain within three points of second-bottom Hamilton Academical, and four points from St Mirren and Motherwell. Not all bad then?

Premiership table

History repeating itself

A crumb of comfort may come from the fact early-season trouble is nothing new to the club.

Last season McCann's men lost five of their first six games as they sat bottom of the Premiership.

In 2016-17, Dundee had to wait 12 games before they recorded their second league win of the season.

Games won tag
Points tallies early in the season for Dundee have dwindled in recent years

On top of that, the club went through a spell through October and November last season where they suffered five losses on the bounce, while enduring a late run of 10 games with just a single win.

Despite that they still managed to finish ninth, 10 points above bottom side Ross County. The year before, 37 points still achieved 10th.

What has changed this season, then?

In short, sticking the ball in the net.

So far this season Dundee have only scored two goals on Premiership duty. Elton Ngwatala's strike on the opening day of the season and Benjamin Kallman's effort in a 3-1 home defeat by Motherwell are about it.

By this stage last year they had registered double that figure, six the season before and nine the term before that. In the 2015-16 season Greg Stewart had scored more by this stage in the Premiership than this campaign's entire Dundee squad.

At the other end, the 11 goals conceded is actually one less than last year, six more than 2016-17 and four more than 2015-16.

Dundee results

What next for Dundee?

It's a cliché to say there are no easy fixtures in the Premiership, but when you're bottom of the pile it certainly resonates.

Next up for Dundee is a home game this Saturday with Hibernian, who sit in fifth tied with Rangers. Neil Lennon's side have found the back of the net nine times already this season as the league's third-best scorers.

Dundee shooting

However, they have let in the most strikes out the top eight sides with six, so there may be a chance for McCann's men if they can find their shooting boots.

After that, though, they travel to Hamilton to face an Accies side also struggling for form. At least three points from their next two games would surely go a long way to kick-starting their campaign.

'Time running out for Neil McCann' - reaction

Neil McCann
McCann says he and his players "won't chuck it" despite their poor start

Former Hearts captain Michael Stewart

A draw against a good Hibs side at home is definitely a start and it would allow a little bit of breathing space.

I would imagine the next international break is when the board have thought they re-assess at that point. If they are still pointless at that stage I'm fearful for Neil McCann.

Former Scotland striker Steven Thompson

Time is running out for Neil. He will be aware of that. I don't think there would have been any expectation of them to get a result against Rangers but I think at home against Hibernian on Saturday I think Neil has to get a result.

He needs to get points on the board.

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