It was never a fixture that jumped out at the start of the season but away to Arbroath is set to be the biggest of James McPake’s fledgling career as a manager.
On the back of three defeats where his side have showed very little attacking threat, the Dundee gaffer absolutely needs a response from his players at Gayfield this weekend.
There’s just no getting away from how dreadfully poor the Dark Blues were after Stephen Dobbie opened the scoring at Dens on Saturday.
With confidence fragile already, going behind after what had been a positive start from the home side seemed to destroy the belief of the players.
This is where the much talked about ‘character’ of a team needs to come out.
The chips are down and the season is on the verge of falling apart – there needs to be some sort of injection of life into performances.
One man that could do that is Danny Johnson, as he showed with his goal last Saturday.
It should have stolen a point, even Jordon Forster knows that after his howler let Dobbie in for his second to win it.
And I mean stolen because Queen of the South should have had it wrapped up already in the second half. That’s the sort of margins seasons can hang by, though.
Come out of that performance with a 1-1 draw and you’ve ended the bad spell and scored a seriously good goal to boot.
Forster’s eagerness to get the ball forward again rather than play safe with the dangerman Dobbie sniffing around proved costly.
And now all we’re talking about is three defeats and almost a crisis with fans turning on the manager.
Not being a Dundee fan, I like to think I can look at these things objectively though supporters have the right to make their displeasure known.
To listen to the Tele’s football podcast, Twa Teams One Street, download from Apple Podcasts or Spotify – or head to thetele.co.uk
For me, not giving James McPake the chance to turn things around and get the club back on an even keel would be a mistake.
And I don’t expect the club’s owners to do that.
The club have put years into building James up to be their manager and I don’t see them throwing that all away quickly.
They’ve also always given managers the chance to get it right – Paul Hartley lost seven in a row, including a 7-0 home defeat, before losing his job while Jim McIntyre lost 10.
It’s not a good mix at Dens Park right now – the only way to begin to change that is by winning at Arbroath.