Dundee boss Jim McIntyre is set for a defensive reshuffle after a second-half littered with errors saw the Dark Blues collapse to defeat at Kilmarnock on Saturday.
A goal-line scramble, an own goal and an early Christmas present gifted the home side a 3-1 victory at Rugby Park as Dundee’s four-match unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt halt.
With Nathan Ralph suspended after his Rangers red card, Jim was without a recognised left-back and was forced to deploy centre-back Andy Boyle out of position.
That didn’t affect them too much in an even first half that saw good chances for both sides before Kirk Broadfoot’s scrambled opener just after half-time saw Dundee’s good work crumble before Gensy Kusunga’s own goal on 66 minutes and Greg Stewart’s late strike after Boyle’s error compounded the day.
Ralph is expected to slot straight back in for tonight’s clash at Aberdeen while the Dens gaffer has a decision over who to play at centre-back with both Kusunga and Boyle errors costing goals.
Darren O’Dea defended well enough at Rugby Park while on-loan Ryan Inniss is also available for a return.
Whichever side he opts for, Jim has called on his side to be “a lot better” when they travel to Aberdeen tonight if they are to get anything.
He said: “There are going to be ups and downs, slaps in the face and poor results.
“It’s about how you bounce back, about how you handle it.
“I need to see a lot better than I saw in that second half because it wasn’t good enough.
“If we play like that we’ll toil.
“I’m frustrated. In the first half we cut through Kilmarnock and should have been going in at half-time with a lead.
“But we weren’t ruthless enough and that came back to bite us.
“Up until the first goal there was nothing in the game. But as soon as the goal went in for some reason we looked like a team that I have not seen for a number of weeks.
“We were playing as individuals and making really poor decisions.”
Despite his frustrations, the Dens gaffer saw enough in the first half to work with over the next couple of weeks, starting tonight at Pittodrie.
He added: “We have a quick turnaround which is good after not getting a positive result.
“We’ve got a really tough period with the next five games against top-six sides, just like Saturday, but we showed in the first half at Rugby Park we can apply ourselves.
“We were well-organised and had a goal threat but unfortunately we didn’t take it – when you come up against the best sides you must take your chances, it’s so important.”
Roarie Deacon is expected to miss out after injuring his thigh in the warm-up on Saturday.