Cammy Kerr says Dundee are starting to build something special and expects that to start showing in the second half of the season.
Neil McCann’s first six months in full charge of the Dark Blues hasn’t gained the results Kerr says their play has deserved.
However, he’s confident that’ll change when they get back under way this coming Saturday at home to Inverness in the Scottish Cup.
He said: “From the first set of fixtures, we didn’t take the points we should have.
“We should definitely have been higher up the table and, if you’re getting defeats during that period, it can knock you, so whether that had a domino effect on other games, I don’t know.
“In the second set of fixtures before the break, we were a lot better.
“We are building something at the club where there’s a different culture and different mentality where it’s not just us getting by.
“We’re definitely doing things in the right way and everyone knows they have to be on their game in training.
“If you’re not then you run the risk of not playing on a Saturday.
“Everything is so high in terms of the demands but that’s why you’re at a football club and what you have to do if you want to get to the next level.”
A big part of that is competition among the squad.
There are currently as many as 30 players in the Dundee first team at the moment, including those currently out injured.
Boss McCann likes a big squad to ensure the XI he picks at the weekend are pushed to their maximum.
He’s also not afraid to give youngsters a chance and that’s seen U/20s players like Matty Henvey and Jack Lambert get playing time ahead of more experienced team-mates.
It’s not so long ago Kerr was just breaking into the first team himself and he’s delighted to see more coming up through the youth team and playing a part for the senior side.
“It shows the belief the gaffer has in them and rightly so,” he said.
“Also the work that Jimmy Boyle is doing behind the scenes along with the manager.
“It shows that Jimmy, the gaffer, Rab (Geddes), Lorraine (Noble) and everyone at the club is on the same journey.
“It’s important to blood the young ones, obviously they gave me my chance.
“I’m from Dundee and it’s great to see boys coming along and it’s important now they integrate into the team and make sure they are there or thereabouts.”
Both Henvey and Lambert made their club debuts in the Boxing Day defeat to Celtic, coming off the bench at Dens Park.
Both were again substitutes for the following game at St Johnstone.
Only Henvey made it on to the pitch and just for the final seconds of the game.
Finding yourself out of the team again after a “wee taster”, though, and getting over that disappointment is key for young players according to Kerr.
“That’s probably the hardest bit. I think when you have a wee taster for it, you’re so happy because you’re coming on but suddenly something will happen where you’re left out due to boys coming back and it’s like a ton of bricks on you.
“You just want to be involved all the time but it’s not a step back. It does tell you in training you have to be bang at it, you keep going and your chance will definitely come again.
“It’s so important that these boys do that because they’ve definitely got something for the manager to believe in them.”