Letting opposing teams off the hook and not punishing them when they’ve got the chance can’t afford to become a habit for Dundee, according to midfield battler Lewis Spence.
The 22-year-old has impressed in the middle of the park over the last couple of weeks against Brechin and St Mirren.
However, he was left frustrated in Paisley as the Dark Blues squandered the chance to win before a mistake from goalkeeper Jack Hamilton gifted the Buddies a goal and, with it, all three points.
And after plenty of frustration last season with a similar problem, Spence recognises it’s an issue Dundee need to sort quickly.
He said: “It’s the same old, same old with us.
“Get ourselves back in the game, miss a few really good chances and come out flying in the second half and get a pen.
“Sofien Moussa usually puts them away but doesn’t and then a freak mistake at the end just sums us up.
“Listen, we need to get that sorted fast because it was just a repeat of last season and we don’t want that.
“It’s still really early but it could become a habit and we can’t have that.
“In the second half we came out and for 20, 30 minutes battered them, absolutely battered them, but ended up coming away with nothing.
“When you’re on top like that, though, you need to put one away.
“We had two or three went right across the face of the goal, a couple of shots in the box and the missed penalty.
“We should have won but how many times did we say that last season?
“At the end of the day it’s about results and we lost on Saturday, plain and simple.
“We don’t want that creeping in again.
“We need to be more ruthless in front of goal and when we’re on top like that need to bury teams and punish them.”
Dundee failed to do that, despite the chance from the penalty spot and a raft of further opportunities, and were punished late on – once again through their own making.
New goalie Hamilton dithered on the ball before tripping over it and gifting St Mirren the winning goal.
Spence, though, insists Hamilton is a big enough character to get over the mistake.
And he’s backing him to make up for the error in the coming weeks.
Spence added: “It was a mistake from Jack but he needs to get his head up because it’s a long season and he made some really good saves on Saturday.
“It’s part of football, people make mistakes all the time and he won’t be the last.
“It’s not a blame culture in the dressing-room – we were actually more angry at missing the chances than the mistake itself. He knows himself, we didn’t need to tell him but we’re a team and we stick together.
“Jack will pull out plenty of saves this season when we need them.”
There’s no let-up either for the Dark Blues – next up is last season’s runners-up Aberdeen fresh off an impressive showing in Europe against English Premier League side Burnley and a battling draw at home to Rangers.
“It’s a massive game this week against Aberdeen,” added Spence.
“They’re all massive games and they’re a really good team, did very well in Burnley against a Premier League team so it’ll be tough but we’re still confident of beating anybody.
“When we play like we did for much of the second half at St Mirren we can compete with most teams in the league.
“We just need to be ruthless.”