Since Neil McCann took charge of Dundee 15 months ago, consistency has been the ultimate aim – unfortunately at the moment, it’s the wrong kind they are suffering as they lie rooted to the foot of the Premiership table.
The Dark Blues have nothing to show for their opening sixgames of the league campaign and were dumped out of the Betfred Cup by last season’s League One champions Ayr United on their own turf.
That’s heaped the pressure on gaffer Neil ahead of this weekend’s home game against Hibs with the game dubbed a must-win if he is to continue as team boss.
This season, the search for his best XI has been a frustrating one for the manager. Injuries have played a big part in that but it’s clear that inconsistent team selections haven’t helped the Dark Blues’ cause.
A total of 22 players have all had starts already this season with none of the six combinations used so far bringing any joy.
Jack Hamilton was brought in by Neil to be the No 1 keeper but a glaring mistake against St Mirren and poor goals conceded against Motherwell saw Elliott Parish given the gloves against Rangers.
That was a thankless task but it’s expected the former Aston Villa man will get a run in the team after waiting patiently for his chance.
A massive issue on Saturday, injuries forced Neil into cobbling together a central back three with Darren O’Dea recalled to the team after being surplus to requirements and clearly nowhere near match sharp alongside debutant Andy Boyle and Cammy Kerr, who has featured more on the left than at right-back this campaign.
Missing were skipper Josh Meekings, new signing Ryan Inniss and Genseric Kusunga, who has been culpable for a number of errors with another gifting a goal to Rangers on Saturday.
Nathan Ralph has played left-back while Celtic loanee Calvin Miller has recently came in as a left wing-back while Steven Caulker departed the club at the end of the transfer window.
The only mainstay has been Jesse Curran on the right of defence.
The biggest problem has been having to make do without Glen Kamara, Dundee’s top player last season.
Early on it looked like Elton Ngwatala and Kharl Madianga could fill the void left by the Finn but, after showing up well early on, performance levels of both have dropped with Madianga certainly struggling at Ibrox.
Lewis Spence is one player, however, who has played at a consistent level in the middle of the park while Adil Nabi has shown he has quality but really needs to start showing an end product.
Despite his electronic tag, Paul McGowan continues to be a mainstay in midfield.
With goals in short supply, it’s no surprise changes have been often at the top end of the pitch.
Benjamin Kallman has come in and looks the best bet to partner Kenny Miller, though the latter’s upcoming suspension will see Neil have to give Sofien Moussa or Jean Mendy a go, if the club’s appeal is unsuccessful.
Neither has a league goal to their name yet this campaign with Moussa missing a vital penalty at St Mirren and then having to sit out after a daft red card against Ayr.
Mendy, meanwhile, is still getting to grips with Scottish football.
The final name on the list is Craig Wighton, since departed for Hearts.
Changes are certain once more this weekend but the Dark Blues sorely need to find a regular XI before it’s too late – for the team and the manager’s sakes.