As painful as the score-line looked at Easter Road, Dundee’s match at Hibs ultimately didn’t matter.
The Dark Blues were already through in the Betfred Cup and, to be honest, the cup competitions isn’t where focus lies at Dens Park anyway.
What really matters is getting a win at Somerset Park on Saturday.
Going three Championship matches without a victory just won’t cut it for a team aiming for promotion.
So the pressure is on manager James McPake and his side when they head to Ayr this weekend.
The good news is he’ll actually have some senior players to stick on the bench this week.
That’s no disrespect to the young subs they had at Easter Road but you couldn’t in good conscience chuck any of them into a match against Hibs.
Goalie Adam Legzdins maybe – but he’s not played a competitive match for three years.
Manager McPake has come in for criticism from fans for recent results.
Two wins from the last six and 13 goals conceded in the last three away games means that’s inevitable.
Sunday at Easter Road, though, in my opinion should be taken in a different context.
Injuries, Covid and suspensions saw the squad stretched to its limits – just 10 senior outfield players fit with only one centre-back and one centre-forward to take on the fourth-best team in the country on their own patch.
You could see the difference late on when the Hibs subs settled the game with late goals as the Dundee players flagged.
The 4-1 result wasn’t a reflection of the way the match went, certainly.
Having Lee Ashcroft returning should tighten up the defence. Cammy Kerr did his best stepping in as emergency cover but it’s clearly not a position where he’s comfortable.
I’d also expect Legzdins to come in for Jack Hamilton – there were big questions once more for the first goal on Sunday over Jack.
What the Dark Blues should be focusing on ahead of the return to league action was how well they played against Hibs for 74 minutes.
In the first half they kept themselves in the game but, from 50 minutes to scoring on 71, Dundee were the better side.
They absolutely should not forget that.
The equaliser had been coming for a while.
Play like that at Somerset Park on Saturday and they’ll come back up the road with three points, I have no doubt.
Defend like they did for six minutes at Easter Road, however, and the pressure will only intensify.
After watching Sunday’s second half, I certainly don’t have the worries I did after the Alloa match.
Dundee have improved since then – the question is, can they put together a 90-minute display?
This is a big game, make no mistake.
They need to get fans back onside and the only way to do that is to win games.
Regardless of any of our results over the next few months I get the feeling the Tartan Army will be ‘boogieing’ all the way to Euro 2020.
For last week’s play-off against Serbia, I showed very poor forethought in watching the game with our baby asleep in the same room.
That meant my celebrations – and curses when we conceded – had to be somewhat muted.
That didn’t work so well!
I did fancy us to win it for some reason last week but not to play in the manner we did.
We totally outplayed Serbia for 89 minutes and should have been more goals ahead by that point.
That’s what struck me – just a couple of months from being really poor, slow and stumbling, Steve Clarke has turned us into a team to be feared.
I hope that’s the case tonight in Israel. The new system really didn’t work the last time we played them, this evening will be the perfect chance to show just how far this Scotland side have come.
Something that’s even more surprising to me is how integral Lyndon Dykes has become to everything we do.
We also seem to have a superb team spirit about the camp, epitomised by the unofficial national anthem that’s become of ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’.
Anyone who hasn’t seen where that came from I urge to avoid watching the Andy Considine stag-do video.
It is truly terrifying.
Hopefully a nice wee break from action has refreshed Dundee United and they can come flying out of the traps against Hamilton this weekend.
Accies are struggling, conceding left, right and centre so I fancy if United can get in amongst them early doors and get a goal they’ll be well set up for victory.
Hamilton, as we all know, though, love to upset things so watch out.
After that is Livingston and another game the Tangerines will be looking for three points from.
Keep beating the bottom teams and getting results against anyone below, United will be on for top six.