Two points from five games and the prospect of another blank day beckons at the City of Discovery as we take on the Dark Blues at Dens Park on Saturday, the game kicking off at 3:00pm.
It's been a disappointing start to the season and there will be little respite against Dundee who have edged their way into the top half of the table, some five points better off than Inverness.
Their opening day thrashing of whipping boys Kilmarnock at Rugby Park was followed by home defeat at the hands of adrenalin pumped Jambos. An entertaining derby draw against the Arabs then another Tayside derby game against St Johnstone saw the Dark Blues pick up another win before last weeks defeat to the once famous Aberdeen. All that means that Dundee are on seven points and sit sixth in the league.
So who is playing for them this season. Well, we certainly know one of them very well. Yes, it's our own Nick Ross. The tidy midfielder has performed well for his new club after leaving the Highlands. Striker Rory Loy came in from beaten Cup finalists Falkirk and another scorer in the shape of Kane Hemmings arrives after joining from Barnsley. They have brought in defenders Kevin Holt (Queen of the South), and Daryll Meggat from Alloa Athletic. Goalkeeper David Mitchell left Stranraer and the man with the long name Julen Etxabeguren Leanizbarrutia is a defender who joined from East Fife. No longer at Dens are David Clarkson, Jim McAlister, Martin Boyle, Paul Heffernan and Kyle Benedictus. They are the main departures and that leaves Dundee with a squad ready for the rigours of the Premiership.
Dundee's last league game saw them lose 2-0 to Aberdeen and they also had Gary Harkins red carded in the penalty incident where Adam Rooney scored the decisive second goal. They played a league cup game on Tuesday evening and were surprisingly beaten 3-1 by Dunfermline Athletic, the prolific Moroccan Faissal El-Bakhtaoui grabbing a brace. Any club looking for a striker could do worse than give him a contract.
Whilst Dundee were losing at Pittodrie, we were going down at home rather tamely to Hamilton Academical by the same scoreline. A bright start which produced no goals for our strikerless squad was our downfall as the Accies had us chasing the game from one of our trademark sideways and backwards plays before we gave the ball away. Accies did the rest and the second goal just reinforced our plight at the moment with seven players unable to help out the squad due to injuries.
Doran, Foran, Warren.................. It might be simpler to list who is fit for this game. Our crisis gets worse by the day with the news that Aaron Doran will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Greg Tansey came off against Hamilton with an achilles niggle but should be able to play if selected. Nonetheless, Dean Brill, Aaron Doran, Richie Foran, Gary Warren, Josh Meekings, James Vincent, Jordan Roberts............ any advance on that? Yes I hear you shout, Iain Vigurs, Greg Tansey and Dani Lopez are rumoured to be struggling for fitness. Meekings looks the best bet to get back into the squad, badly missed in the heart of the defence, his return can't come quick enough, and James Vincent could make the squad for Dundee.
Rory Loy has been out for a few weeks and Dundee have their own injury situation to deal with. Nicky Low and Kevin Thomson should be fit enough to be added to the squad although they have all been struggling recently, but Etxabeguren is out and Simon Ferry is doubtful. Gary Harkins is out after his red card against Aberdeen.
tm4tj prediction:- I fear it will get worse before it gets better. Inverness find themselves drawn back into the pack now. It's a massive change from last season when we were a cut above most teams and we all have to deal with that. Key losses such as Billy Mckay, Marley Watkins and Graeme Shinnie coupled with injuries to our main first team players have not been addressed and that is the problem here, but we have to knuckle down and get on with what we have. Dundee appear to have a stronger squad than last season and will be difficult to break down, but given their loss in midweek, that will give us a glimmer of hope that we can take something from this game. Greg Stewart is the man we need to keep quiet as he is capable of providing for others if he is not scoring himself. Another one to look out for is former Cowdenbeath and Barnsley man Kane Hemmings who is not shy at finding the net. A draw is our best bet, but it could be another defeat if we don't find our shooting boots soon. The international break can't come soon enough as our treatment tables are overflowing.
Aside from League business, we have been drawn away to Livingston in the 3rd round of the League Cup. Not an easy task as they put St Mirren out in the last round with an excellent 2-3 win at Paisley.
Here's a hard one to take. It has been confirmed that Billy Mckay will join Dundee United on loan for the rest of the season.