James McPake says it only took one glance around a dejected dressing-room at Morton to know his Dundee side will have a successful season.
The Dens men head to Queen of the South tonight aiming to jump up the Championship table with their first away league win of the campaign.
They suffered a 1-0 reverse at Cappielow last week and, though that was frustrating, James insists he’s seen enough of his players to know they’ll come good.
He said: “The belief is there from the players and certainly from the staff.
“I looked round the dressing-room even after getting beaten last Saturday and thought ‘we’ll be alright here’ because I could see real quality there.
“It is early, it’s still September and we are working ever so hard to get it right and we will.”
He added: “We need wins on the board and to get the consistency in performances out there that we know is in this squad.
“There is real quality in that dressing-room and I stand by that.
“It’s frustrating but we are very early on.
“You can only say that for so long but we are working ever so hard to put it right – we fully believe when it does click people will see a completely different side.
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“Our full focus is on tonight and getting that performance we’ve been waiting for.
“We believe it is in there, we’ve seen it in fits and starts at times.”
James reckons heading away to Queens will be a benefit to his side even if they haven’t picked up a win on the road from trips to Dunfermline, Dundee United and Greenock Morton yet.
He said: “There are genuinely no easy fixtures in this league, home or away.
“The bonus in the situation we are in now is home teams need to come out a bit.
“Queens will come out and have a go which, at this minute, will suit us.”
The Dark Blues will be without Jamie Ness. The former Rangers and Stoke midfielder took a bang on the ankle against Elgin and Dundee are hopeful he’ll be back soon.
“Jamie is unfortunate with his ankle, the good thing is it’s just an impact injury and nothing to do with any previous injuries,” added the Dens boss.
Josh Meekings returns to the squad.