Darren O’Dea says Dundee have to take individual responsibility if they are to avoid a second thrashing in a row when they travel to champions Celtic today.
On paper, this week always looked a tall order for the Dark Blues to get anything from three away trips to teams battling it out at the top of the Premiership.
However, the previous few games that saw a four-match unbeaten run had boosted confidence around the side and had all associated with the club hoping to get some points from Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Celtic.
Two defeats and eight goals conceded in the first two, however, has Dark Blues fans fearing the worst ahead of the trip to Glasgow today.
And O’Dea says they’ll have to be much improved to prevent another steamrollering at Parkhead.
He said: “Listen, the manager leaves us out on the pitch with no stone unturned – that’s why it was so disappointing from his point of view, from ours and the fans because we know what our jobs are and we didn’t carry them out at Aberdeen.
“The goals were poor to give away.
“We conceded from our corner for the first, the second was from their goal kick, two set-pieces and one the officials got badly wrong in terms of the offside. That didn’t affect the outcome of the game, however.
“We weren’t good enough.
“When you go to a place like Aberdeen, against a really good team away from home, you can’t give goals away like that because you give yourself no chance of winning games.
“If we keep conceding goals like Tuesday then we are going to have a tough time.”
Though things had seemed brighter at Dens with an upturn in form that lifted Dundee ahead of St Mirren in the league table, O’Dea insists the Dark Blues knew more bumps in the road were ahead.
He added: “We had seen progress and it had been steady but knew where we were, we weren’t getting ahead of ourselves.
“There will be bumps but we are where we are for a reason.
“Tuesday was another slap in the face but, when you are in a fight, you are going to take punches and you just have to keep working through them.
“We’ll have to be a heck of a lot better because the games don’t get any easier going to the top team in the country and after that there are two massive home games.”
With a mammoth task ahead of them today at the home of the champions, the last two matches before the winter break take on added significance with Livingston and St Johnstone to come at home and points badly needed to end the year on a high.
And O’Dea has warned his team-mates that the manager won’t have any qualms in getting rid of players he feels aren’t up to the job.
“I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know we’re up against it at Celtic Park. But we’ll go with a plan and we’ll go to get a result.
“The two games after it are enormous against two teams who are very well-organised and physically strong. If you don’t stand up to them you’ll get beaten so we’ll have to be much better than we were on Tuesday if we are to get anything.”
O’Dea added: “We know what we need to do, certainly the manager knows what he needs to do and it’s about players proving themselves before the January window opening where there are chances to change the team.
“You have to prove you want to be on this ship and you want to keep it sailing because if you don’t you’ll be out the door.”