Dundee skipper Josh Meekings insists they must act now to save their season before it’s too late.
Meekings returned to the Dark Blues’ starting XI for last Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Inverness.
Defeat to the defender’s former club saw the Caley Jags leapfrog the Dee into third in the Championship table and leaves them 12 points off the pace of city rivals Dundee United at the top.
And Meekings believes they need to find some winning form now if they are to prevent that lead from widening, with the main focus of the 27-year-old’s frustration their profligacy in front of goal.
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“That’s the frustrating part,” he said. “We feel like we play good football but when it comes to the crunch we’re just not putting the ball in the net.
“At the other end sometimes we’re just giving away slack goals so if we keep doing that we’re not going to get the results we want.
“We need to dust ourselves down, go again and, it sounds cliched but it’s the only way we’re going to move forward.
“It’s early enough that we can do something about it now but we need to start or otherwise it’s just going to get more difficult and sooner.
“Of course, we have our goals and targets and if we’re not hitting them then we’re going to be bitterly disappointed.
“At the moment we aren’t and we’re not where we want to be.
“The only way we’re going to get there is by hard work and doing the dirty stuff. We need to make sure we’re as ruthless as we can be in both boxes.”
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Captain Meekings was disappointed with their display in the Highlands but knows they have to go again when Queen of the South call in at Dens on Saturday.
He added: “It was difficult and never easy to go up to Inverness but I felt conceding the goal early made it difficult for ourselves.
“Things were slow and we didn’t get our game going and flowing as well as we wanted to.
“They’re a nitty gritty side that do the dirty side of the game well so fair play, compliments to them. If we want to go where we want to go then we need to be better. It’s as simple as that.
“We seem to be struggling in the final third with our cutting edge, ruthlessness, that side of the game.
“On another day I think we could’ve had two or three, and I’m not going to start slaughtering the forwards, it’s just the way it is.
“We conceded a sloppy goal and we tried to play the way we want to play but they were sitting behind the ball and making it difficult for us.
“It was just one of those days for our forwards. On another day we might’ve got something. They’ve cleared one off the line, there was a couple in the first half so it’s very difficult to take. Ultimately, it’s very disappointing.
“The only way we can get over that is analysing it this week and going again.”
And Meekings is keen to repay the Dee faithful this weekend after a fruitless journey north.
“This league is very tough. I think people underestimate how tough it is. There’s some good sides and some good players and I think the quality’s probably got better.
“It’s up to us now to do it at home. We’ve said what we want to do at home and we’re the only ones who can do that.
“We appreciate the support and we’re bitterly disappointed we’ve not given them anything to go home with.
“It’s very difficult at the moment and it’s not a good time after the derby defeat and losing up in Inverness. But we need to dust ourselves down and repay the fans.
“It’s about showing character and making sure we go again against Queen of the South, otherwise we’ll fall away and that’s not what we want to do.”