Footballers at a new club usually enjoy a little time to settle in but Dundee new boy Martin Woods admits he has to hit the ground running at Dens Park.
The 32-year-old made his debut as a late sub in Saturday’s defeat at Motherwell and knows the 20 minutes or so at Fir Park are as much of a honeymoon period as he’s going to get.
The man of many clubs has been brought in to add top-flight ability, experience and knowledge to the squad.
With the Dark Blues at the bottom of the table after just one win in the opening 12 games, he knows those qualities have to be applied immediately.
“There is no time for me to settle in. This is it, I can’t be saying I’m not that fit, or I’m not quite ready. I have to be, I know that and I am,” he said.
“I had the same thing when I joined Partick Thistle last season. You are thrown in at the deep end and you just have to do it.
“Then we managed to get the points on the board but the play-offs killed us.”
Prior to signing up on Friday, Woods had been training at Dens for a couple of weeks.
The combination of what he’s seen during that work and on the park at the weekend has convinced him he won’t be suffering relegation for a second campaign running.
“Saturday was much better. I’ve only been at the last couple of games, but if you combine the talent that’s in the dressing-room with that attitude, it’s much better. If you put both of them together then you are going to win more games than you’re not.
“What was most evident at Motherwell was a team that was working hard and a lot more organised.
“We were a lot more difficult to break down, so that stands us in good stead going into a huge game against St Mirren this coming Saturday.
“There were positives and, given a wee bit better final ball, things would have been different.
“Motherwell are a team that can pin teams in and bully teams and one thing the boys weren’t was bullied. That’s important.”
Having watched the poor displays in heavy defeats against Hearts and Celtic, against the Steelmen, Woods knows it was important his new team-mates showed they wouldn’t lie down.
“First half we had two better chances. Second half they probably started better than us and capitalised on that.
“That’s what it takes in these kind of games – get ahead and show that kind of spirit. I think we showed that spirit as well
“And, in fairness to the lads, the goal didn’t change them.
“In the previous two games that is what let us down a bit, goals affected us.
“This time the boys kept going, we didn’t get the result but everyone was right up for the fight all the way to the end.”
Under Jim McIntyre, a manager he knows well from time together at Ross County, Woods is confident Dundee will get off the bottom.
“In the two weeks I’ve been in, I can see the boys are getting what the manager is after.
“I think the time he will have to work with us this week is big.
“Having a whole week to prepare for a game is a big difference.
“Because of the midweek game last week, everything we were doing was recovery and then video analysis, but now he has a week to prepare with us out on the pitch.
“A lot of boys respond to that better and I know his training and preparation is very good. He gets his message across.
“And after Motherwell we’ve all got something to build on.”