Dundee manager James McPake accepts it’s up to him and his coaching staff to find a way to get the Dark Blues firing up the Championship table.
The Dens men have suffered what the manager described as “an average start” with just two victories from their opening seven Championship matches.
Friday’s 1-1 draw at Queen of the South made it just five points picked up from their previous five league matches and has allowed Dundee United and Ayr United to open up a nine-point gap at the top of the table.
James insists he has seen positives in the performances over the past couple of weeks but accepts it’s only results that matter.
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He said: “I can see improvements in the performances in that we are creating more chances than we have been.
“Ultimately they need to start going in the net, though, and we need to start picking up three points.
“There are improvements but it just hasn’t clicked in front of goal yet.
“It is taking time and I knew it would never be an overnight thing.
“It’s about us finding a way to make the team click.”
The Dens gaffer accepts there is pressure on the Dark Blues, having come down from the Premiership last season, to get back up at the first time of asking.
For him, though, it’s clear from the past few years in the second tier that’s much easier said than done.
He added: “Dundee United have been in this league a while, we are down this year. Anybody looking at the league will say ‘those two should coast it’ but it’s never as simple as that.
“I knew it wouldn’t be.
“It’s a tough league – that’s why United have been in it so long, why Hibs took a while to get out – Hearts were the exception.
“They had the chance to build for this league beforehand, though.
“It is a tough job but I’ve said that from day one – I’m not just saying that because we have had an average start to the season.
“I make no excuses for that and I know it will get tougher as the season goes on but I know we will get better.
“The longer my team is together, we will start to see a real fluency very soon.”
With almost an entire new squad brought in over the summer, James accepts Dundee are behind others in the division when it comes to building a successful squad for the Championship.
However, he says there are signs that is coming at Dens Park as they bid to overhaul the three teams above them – Dundee United, Ayr and Inverness Caley Thistle.
“Ayr are a good side,” James added.
“I saw a fair bit of them last year and it’s no surprise they are up at the top. They were really good when they came to Dens and they have a real consistency.
“It’s been a very similar squad they’ve had for a few seasons now, a successful one that came up and Ian McCall added quality to them.
“Inverness are the same and that shows the need for consistency in your approach in this league.
“The teams that do well have that.
“We had a big shift in terms of players and staff – it’s been a huge turnaround.
“Everybody wants it to happen at the click of a button, everybody hits the ground running and you get off to a flyer but it’s not easy.
“I think anybody you speak to will say it’s difficult to firstly get people in the door and then get everybody playing together.
“We are getting there. It is tough but nothing we didn’t expect.
“It’s up to me and my staff to find the right way of getting an effective team on the pitch to start turning the good play, which there has been a lot of, into goals.”