Dundee youngster Fin Robertson says the Dark Blues squad is “more together” this season and insists results will start to follow sooner rather than later.
Eighteen-year-old Robertson is set to travel down to Queen of the South today hoping for a return to first-team action.
The central midfielder turned out 22 times for Dundee last season despite his tender years but has had to settle for a place on the bench for the past six weeks.
Robertson’s last appearance was in the 4-1 defeat at Hibs on November 15, just his second start of the campaign.
The Scotland U/19 international accepts he’s got his work cut out to get back in the team due to the displays of the likes of Shaun Byrne and Charlie Adam.
However, he hopes his patience will pay off before long.
Robertson said: “There’s definitely been a step up in quality since last season with the players brought in by the manager including Charlie Adam.
“We feel as a team we are getting up to speed and we’re more together as a squad than we were last year.
“Hopefully, we can go on a wee run going sooner rather than later to get up that league.
“And, hopefully, I’ll get a chance sooner rather than later – in the meantime I just need to prove I’m worthy of being in the starting XI.
“Hibs was the last game I played and it’s been tough on the bench, you want to be playing.
“But I can’t be too disheartened – the quality we have in midfield, it’s always going to be hard to get a game.
“When you get the chance you just have to take it with both hands.”
‘I’ve got good people around me’
At times last season, Robertson was in and out of the team. However, this term has been a new challenge for the midfielder with first-team opportunities fewer and further between at Dens Park.
Robertson, though, has sought out advice from the likes of Charlie Adam and manager James McPake as well as his parents Fiona and Stuart.
“I’ve got good people around me to help and it’s not like I’ve been totally frozen out or anything.
“My Dad tells me to keep patient and tells me to expect setbacks but to stay patient and not get frustrated. He’s been really good for that.
“I’m still young and have loads of time. I’m just keeping working away and I can’t be too unhappy. I want to get back in the team but I know it might take time.”
On his relationship with manager McPake, Fin replied: “The manager has been so good to me to give me opportunities to show what I can do.
“I’ve just got to show he can trust me to go on the pitch and do the job for the team.
“He’s talked to me a lot, telling me what I can improve on.
“I’m looking to find a bit more consistency. I maybe lost a bit of confidence but that happens all the time – it’s all about how you bounce back.
“You’ve got to show you are able to do that, if you can’t you’re in the wrong sport.”
Working with Charlie Adam
Robertson is also learning all he can from the likes of Adam after a career that’s taken in clubs like Rangers, Blackpool, Liverpool, Stoke and Reading as well as 26 Scotland caps.
And the 18-year-old has revealed the squad are determined to put on a show in Dumfries for Adam after the sad passing of mum Ellie after a battle with cancer.
“Training with Charlie every day is great, I’ve learned so much already from him,” said Robertson.
“It’s good for me and it’ll hopefully help the team. He’s been there and done it, knows what it takes to get to the top.
“He’ll pull me to one side if he feels there’s something I can do better.
“This week has been really sad because he does so much for us. We are all feeling for him.
“Hopefully, we can put in a good show for him.
“He deserves that for all he does. It’s really sad.
“I’m sure he’ll be wanting to play if he’s fit and maybe do it for mum and family.”