A fourth successive win in the Tayside derby for St Johnstone has condemned Dundee to their worst ever run of results. 

Crucially, though, it is a run that threatens to open the trapdoor into the Championship with the Dens Park side currently six points adrift at the foot of the table.

With four games left it is not what is in front of Dundee, but rather what is behind that does not augur well.

Gruelling months have brought them to this point and the weight of that baggage was evident in a performance against St Johnstone that was tired and limp. There was little in the narrative of the 90 minutes that would offer evidence of any basis for a late Houdini act.

Trailing by 2-0, substitute Andrew Nelson whipped over a low cross that Craig Curran slid to connect with and missed from three yards out.

Such slim margins have far bigger consequences.

St Johnstone enjoyed the best of the game in the opening period without their possession and dominance translating into a lead.

That changed swiftly after the break, however, when a ferocious Scott Tanser left-foot free-kick after Dundee defender Darren O’Dea had fouled Callum Hendry gave Tommy Wright’s side the lead. From there on in, the sense of collapse was pervasive on Dundee’s part.

HeraldScotland: Callum Hendry celebratesCallum Hendry celebrates

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By the time that Hendry netted with a diving header from Richard Foster’s cross there seemed like little way back for Jim McIntyre’s side. Eight successive defeats and four straight losses to their Tayside rivals has left them in the desperate position of propping up the table. 

Finding an answer seems like it has already gone beyond them.

“We’re not stupid,” said McIntyre (above). “We know we need to probably win four on the bounce to still have a chance. That’s the reality of it.

“But we’ll keep trying. We’ll keep digging away.

“We’ve let 2,000 punters down today, who were giving us very good backing, but when the first goal goes in they vent their fury – and they’ve got every right.

“I fully understand where they’re coming from and we’ll take it squarely on the chin.”