The coronavirus lockdown has given Dundee manager James McPake the time to reflect on his debut season as a manager.
And he says he’ll be ready and raring to go for his second season once a date is finally given for football to return.
The 35-year-old jumped into the deep end of football management at Dens Park with a major rebuilding job on his hands following relegation to the Championship.
The Dark Blues gaffer admits the third-place finish, albeit earlier than expected, fell short of his own aims.
However, he’s trying to use the current shutdown to his, and Dundee’s, advantage to ensure promotion back to the top-flight next time around.
He said: “I have had time to reflect and look back.
“You are told to do that after every game and session anyway but the break has given me a fair amount of free time to sit and go right, ‘what did we do wrong? Can we be better?
“So I am making as much use of this time as I can to be ready when we can start back.”
With the playing squad put on furlough leave, McPake is unable to communicate with his players in a work capacity.
He admits that’s been “difficult” but trusts his staff to keep up their fitness at home as we head into what would have been the business end of the 2019/20 campaign if not for the pandemic.
McPake said: “I have seen wee bits and pieces on their Instagrams and Twitters.
“I know some of them are doing the Joe Wicks stuff that’s on the telly every morning.
“It is not going to keep professional football players to an elite standard of fitness but it helps. A lot of them are out on bikes doing bits and pieces.
“Look, it is a difficult period. Our last league game would have been on Saturday.
“We would, hopefully, have had more games in the play-offs.
“But we are coming to the point where the players would have needed a break anyway.
“People might say they have had a break but before they were furloughed they were all given a really tough programme which they were all following.
“What they are doing now is entirely on them but they are due their summer break anyway.
“It is a guessing game as to when we will start back. It is a tough one because we have never been in this situation before.
“We can’t say we will work towards a certain date and it is hard, it really is.”