Dundee boss James McPake says “a bit of balance” is needed when judging goal-shy striker Andrew Nelson’s recent form.
The Dark Blues No 9 hasn’t found the net since grabbing a consolation goal in the 6-2 derby defeat to rivals Dundee United back in August.
Since then he has been in and out of playing squads with injury and been behind Kane Hemmings and Danny Johnson in the pecking order at Dens Park.
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However, Nelson has come in for some flak after letting a number of chances slip through his grasp in the 0-0 draw with Alloa last week before struggling in front of goal again in Tuesday’s victory over Ayr.
His manager, though, has no doubt he’ll start hitting the net again soon if he keeps getting into the right areas.
James said: “Neller was unlucky against Alloa last week because he wasn’t match sharp.
“He got chances which, if those came against Ayr, I think he scores (because he’s had more minutes under his belt).
“We have to take things with a bit of balance because he’s been out for a while.”
Nelson’s replacement on 73 minutes was Ollie Crankshaw and the Wigan loanee took his chance by grabbing his first goal for the club in stoppage time.
The 21-year-old has shown ability in flashes off the bench since arriving in January but James feels there is more to come.
He said: “I’m delighted for Ollie, he works ever so hard every day in training.
“He’s dangerous, we know that, but I have questioned him at times and we’ve talked about the defensive side of his game.
“Take away his goal, I thought his input to the team and the shape when he came on was really good.
“He gave Ayr a real headache and they couldn’t quite get to grips with him.
“The goal topped off his hard work.
“I’m happy with him but there’s more to come from Ollie.”
The Dens gaffer expects to welcome back Jordan McGhee to his playing squad against Dunfermline on Saturday after he missed Tuesday’s win with a dead leg.
Jack Hamilton may also return after Harrison Sharp took his place on the bench. Jordan Marshall remains out with a long-term thigh injury, however.