Kane Hemmings is delighted Dundee had the last laugh at Somerset Park as the Dark Blues stood up to “a few naughty tackles” and came away from Ayr United with three points.
On a murky wet night on the west coast, the Dens Parkers sent the rest of the Championship a statement with their first away victory of the season.
Declan McDaid’s third goal in three games was added to by Paul McGowan’s second in his last two to give Dundee a 2-0 first-half lead.
Luke McCowan would nod one in for the home side before the break but Hemmings says the Dark Blues took a big step forward in their season by standing up to Ayr’s physical approach.
He told the Tele: “It was a good night.
“They wanted to turn the game into a fight and that’s the most pleasing thing for us.
“We withstood what they were offering, they put in a few naughty tackles, a few of them thought they were bigger than what they are but we took it and came away with the points.
“They wanted to turn it into a fight, which is fine – if they can’t play us off the park, they’ll try and kick us. It is what it is.”
He added: “It is a big step in our season and we have a run of games coming now.
“It’s good to have another game so soon tomorrow.
“Another tough place to go, though, Alloa are a very good team and they’ll try to pass us off the park.
“Then we’ve got Morton on Friday and the derby the week after – it’s a good run of games and, hopefully, we can capitalise with maximum points, if not at least two wins.”
Hemmings was satisfied by the team performance and victory at second-placed Ayr but admits he’d be much happier to have his name on the scoresheet.
The striker, though, says his recent goalless spell – no goals in his last seven appearances – isn’t something he’s worrying about, having been through similar runs before.
“I always want to be scoring goals, that’s what you’re in the team for,” Hemmings said.
“I’d be lying if I said I was happy with the goal return but I think my last few performances have been really good.
“There weren’t many opportunities on Friday but, hopefully the manager sticks with me.
“I will always get in the right positions, no matter what – I’ll miss from a yard, I’m not bothered.
“I’ll always get in there so, hopefully, a few things start dropping for me and I’m on the scoresheet.
“I’ve had it similar at a few places – at Mansfield I didn’t score for something like 10 games and ended up with 15 that season.
“Then my first time at Dundee I think I only had five goals going into December and got 25 by the end.
“For me, once they start going in they just keep going in.
“Like I said, I’d be lying if I said I was happy but I don’t let it get to me too much.
“Not blowing my own trumpet, but I think I played quite well on Friday – if I wasn’t doing that then I would be worried.”
Victory in Ayrshire moved the Dark Blues to within three points of their opponents in second but they remain six points behind leaders Dundee United after their win over Dunfermline.
That, though, doesn’t matter right now, according to Hemmings.
“You want to win every game, be at the top of the table and being the team setting the pace but it only matters where you are at the end of the season.
“We need to be going for promotion come the end of the season, we want to be top of the pack, if that’s not the case then the play-offs.
“That’s the minimum expectation.
“It’s October and the league table is irrelevant right now – it only matters in May.”