Dundee’s defeat at Hibs wasn’t unexpected but the pressure is most certainly on this weekend at home to Arbroath.
For any Dundee team, the expectation is that you beat teams like the Red Lichties at Dens Park.
That’s no disrespect to Arbroath, they’ll be a tough, well-organised side.
However, when you look at the squad the Dark Blues have at their disposal right now it should be a home banker.
I do think there is the makings of a pretty decent team at Dens this season.
The start to the league campaign, though, has really piled the pressure on manager James McPake.
And, more than usual, home to Arbroath on Saturday is a must-win for him.
It won’t get fans back onside that want to see him gone.
However, it will get the team back on track and could, hopefully, be the start of a resurgence.
I can see big improvements in the team from just a couple of weeks ago.
Looking at the two Hibs games, it’s quite remarkable how different the squads were.
In the 4-1 defeat a fortnight ago, the bench was made up of youngsters and the manager didn’t call on any of them.
This weekend Liam Fontaine, Jonathan Afolabi, Alex Jakubiak, Max Anderson and Lee Ashcroft all came into the starting XI.
And on the bench were six senior players. That’s a massive difference, not just in numbers, but quality.
And it does seem like Fontaine made the sort of impact at Easter Road we hoped for.
All season, Dundee have been let down by conceding poor goals. There was no sign of that against Hibs – a team well known for its attacking prowess.
You’ve got to feel the experience of someone like Fontaine in the centre of defence, talking everyone through the game has improved those around him. And he won’t be fully up to speed either.
Another big plus for me is Max Anderson. He seems to grow in confidence every game.
I expect Arbroath to sit in and try to counter Dundee this weekend. Creative players like Charlie Adam will be crucial to break them down.
However, so will Anderson by harassing opponents, chasing them down and getting around the pitch.
Sadly, all these players back means my lad Jack has had to step out of the squad.
The manager has told him not to read too much into it and, to be fair, Jack understands.
He’s delighted to have been involved and is doing all he can to get more chances in the future.
For this weekend, though, I know fans are unhappy with the way things are going at Dens Park right now.
But I do feel there is a good team waiting to come together at Dundee.
There have been glimpses this season, it’s about putting it together for 90 minutes and cutting out errors.
Hopefully, it seems like they are starting to sort out the defence.
They need to start the ball rolling in the league this weekend against Arbroath, though, before it’s too late.
HONESTLY, there’s no legislating for footballers sometimes.
Gary Holt did good work at Livingston last season but, with things not going so well this time, decided to resign.
Then out-of-form Livi go and smash Ayr 4-0 in the Betfred Cup on Saturday the moment Holt is out of the door.
I’ve never understood why that happens.
But they’ll have been given a massive boost by that result at the weekend.
And that’s the last thing Dundee United wanted before heading to the Tony Macaroni Stadium this weekend.
Always a tough venue because of the pitch.
It’s a leveller for Livi and may well see United without captain Mark Reynolds due to his history on the surface.
What the Tangerines shouldn’t forget, though, is they are on a good run of form themselves.
Unbeaten in seven and not conceding goals.
Livi’s recent record in the league is poor and they’ve not been defending well, looking at some of the goals they’ve been conceding.
I still think this is a good chance for another three points for Micky Mellon’s side.
And it might just be an opportunity for the front three of Nicky Clark, Marc McNulty and Lawrence Shankland to really get things together up top.
It’s a big game for both teams.
THE scenes at Celtic Park on Sunday night were shameful.
I’m not talking about the performance from the Hoops here!
What a great result for Ross County.
What I am talking about is the stupidity of the so-called fans who turned up to Celtic Park and caused trouble with police.
I don’t get why people think they can just go and do that.
Neil Lennon might not be doing well right now but there’s no justification for that sort of behaviour.
It just shows how things are so much more magnified in the Rangers-Celtic bubble.