Dundee winger Declan McDaid admits the Dark Blues were nowhere near good enough against Elgin last Sunday and says the only acceptable response is victory this weekend.
The Dens Park club welcome Alloa Athletic in the Championship on Saturday with pressure building after being embarrassed 6-2 at Dundee United before the cup shock on Sunday at home to the part-time Highlanders.
And McDaid didn’t pull any punches in his assessment of the performance that saw them crash out of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup.
He told the Tele: “The result against Elgin was just as bad, if not worse, than the derby one.
“It was a lower-league team in the cup and we’re out now because of that – it’s not good enough and we know that.
“We need to bounce back, this can’t go on any longer. Everyone was devastated after Sunday because we wanted to bounce back from the derby defeat.
“To perform like that against Elgin and get that result, the boys were gutted. We definitely need a reaction now, we need to go on a run in the league starting Saturday against Alloa.”
He added: “These two results have made Saturday even bigger than it ever was. We need to start winning games desperately, starting against Alloa.
“We’re still only four games in, so if you go on a wee winning streak you are right back up there. That’s the aim for now.”
The Dark Blues led at the break thanks to Cammy Kerr’s super strike but saw their lead overturned in a very poor second period.
Former Ayr United man McDaid added: “We didn’t really create a lot against Elgin, we had a few openings but the second half was nowhere near acceptable.
“We conceded a rubbish goal and then another even worse one and went down to 10 men, it was downhill from there really.
“We kept the ball fine and all that but we didn’t break them down. We weren’t brave enough for each other – me included, obviously.
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“We just didn’t show for each other on the ball and didn’t give enough options. We need to do more, work harder, and stop conceding rubbish goals like that.
“We need to go back to being hard to beat, first and foremost, but also break teams down more. There’s a lot of work to be done.”
With an expectant home support who have experienced far too many bad days at Dens Park over the past couple of years, McDaid knows Saturday is a key point in the campaign for Dundee.
After the final whistle last week, Dark Blues fans weren’t slow to vent their anger at the team as they trudged off the pitch following the 2-1 defeat.
McDaid gets why the people who pay their money to watch their team were unhappy and disagrees with any suggestion that Sunday’s display was a hangover from the disappointment of the derby.
He said: “I can understand the fans weren’t happy with Sunday.
“After the derby, they expected a reaction and they never got it. As I say, we need to kick on this weekend and get a wee run going in the league.
“I didn’t think there would be any sort of hangover from the derby but you could maybe think that after Sunday. I don’t think so, though.
“We wanted to put things right and it didn’t go to plan at all but we definitely need a reaction this Saturday after these two performances.
“We need to look for Saturday against Alloa to be a win, nothing else.”