Boss James McPake has accepted his share of the blame for Dundee’s below-par performance in Saturday’s goalless draw with Inverness Caley Thistle.
After pushing Aberdeen all the way to extra time in the Betfred Cup six days earlier, the Dark Blues looked sluggish as they could not find a way past the Highlanders at Dens Park.
While the gaffer was unhappy about that, for him, it was a case of collective responsibility that stretched beyond those on the park.
“We’re inconsistent at the minute. We’re getting periods of games where we look really good, then periods where we look not convinced at what we’re doing,” he said.
“A lot of that lies with me as well.
“I’m changing it, putting people on and changing shape, so I’ll go away and, as a staff, we’ll have a look at that and see if we can pinpoint where we’re going wrong as well.”
He refused to use either the sticky conditions or the fact his team had taken Aberdeen to extra time as a reason for the drop in levels.
“There was no issue with that at all. There are no excuses. Teams will come here and make it stuffy. We need to create an atmosphere.
“The atmosphere was created last week because we were in Aberdeen’s faces and there was an extra 3,000 Aberdeen fans.
“We could have created that same atmosphere by being the same Dundee team that came out on Sunday last week and had a right go at Aberdeen.
“That’s the bit I need to get right, me and my staff – and we will.”
There was an injury scare when teenage midfielder Fin Robertson came off in the second half after feeling his hamstring.
Dundee are confident, however, the problem was no more than cramp and they expect the 16-year-old to be available for Friday night’s derby at Tannadice.
Likewise, fellow-midfielder Jamie Ness is expected to return after missing out on Saturday because of a bought of sickness.
“Jamie had a bit of sickness. That’s football, you get injuries, you get illnesses, you get suspensions,” added the manager.
“It’s disappointing but again that’s not an excuse as to why we weren’t at it and why we failed to break down Inverness.”
Dundee’s few hundred remaining tickets for Friday night went on general sale today and are expected to be snapped up quickly.
That will make the first derby in over three years a complete sell-out despite it being shown live on television.