Dundee skipper Josh Meekings has issued a warning to Elgin City – the Dark Blues are hurting after their derby humiliation and are determined to put things right, starting on Sunday.
The 6-2 thrashing at the hands of local rivals Dundee United put the brakes on a steady start to the season from the Dark Blues.
And Meekings is desperate to help his side get back up to speed by seeing off the League Two outfit in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup.
He told the Tele: “Last Friday was terrible, hard to take and left a bitter taste but the only way we can get over it is by moving forward.
“We can’t just forget it, we need to move forward and use it and try to be as positive as we can going into the upcoming games.
“The main thing to do is put it right. It was tough for us to take, tough for the fans to take but we need to get over it.
“We have addressed it, spoken about it and now it’s about moving forward by being as positive as we can. We need to learn from what happened and try to correct it.
“We want a game to put it right. We’ve trained hard this week and it’s been good work.
“We’ve tried to be as positive and upbeat as we can because we know that’s the only way we can move forward.
“It’s early days and we need to stay strong and stick together.”
The 27-year-old has had to be patient as he’s returned from a long-term hip injury that kept him out for the majority of last season.
He’s thankful for the help given by manager James McPake, a man no stranger to long-term injury himself, but wants to get back in the starting XI to show Dundee fans the real Josh Meekings – the one who lifted the Scottish Cup with Inverness in 2015.
He added: “I have a good relationship with the manager. I understand my position but I want to show Dundee fans what I am capable of.
“I know you can’t keep waiting but that’s my aim. I want to repay the faith the manager has had in me to bring me back in.
“We’ve got a very competitive squad, which we need for where we want to go. I am thankful he is being the way he is with me but, at the same time, I want to push on.
“I demand more of myself and I want to get out there and prove what I can do. I know you need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, and these things take time but I’d like a run of games and get a clean slate without worrying about little niggles.
“But it’s not about me this season, we have a good squad and it’s really together – that’s the main thing going forward.”
That starts on Sunday at home to Elgin City for the club captain as he hopes to make his first start since the opening league match of the Championship campaign. This may be the Challenge Cup but Meekings knows it’s important to get a positive result after the derby disappointment.
“We want to go out and put on a performance for ourselves and the fans,” he said.
“We need to dust ourselves down and go again, perform as best we can. I won’t say we’ve had a fantastic start to the season but we’ve had a solid one we can build on.
“We are a new group and players are still coming in with Sean Mackie this week but things are in place now. I believe the strength in depth is there.
“We had an off night, a bad one, but we dust ourselves down and move on – that’s all we can do as a club and as a team.”