Dundee boss James McPake is searching for answers “to the same old problems” after seeing his side dumped out of the Scottish Cup.
The Dark Blues were eased aside by a professional Motherwell performance with Chris Long’s hat-trick doing the damage at Dens Park, where only 1,000 home fans turned up.
And Dees were proved right to stay away as their side started poorly once more, falling behind to two Long goals inside the opening half-hour.
They did improve in the second half, creating chances before a Jack Hamilton howler let a Long effort slip through his grasp and into the net.
James said: “It’s easy to be better in the second half when you are 2-0 down.
“It’s easy to come out and have a go when that’s the case.
“The uphill task was due to conceding two really, really poor goals.”
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The opening goal came from a free-kick on the edge of the area that took a big deflection off the wall to beat Hamilton.
The Dens gaffer, though, says his side should have been awarded a free-kick in the build up.
He added: “The wall is there to do a job and the ball shouldn’t get through.
“For the first goal, this isn’t why we lost the game, but there was a blatant free-kick on Graham Dorrans.
“The fourth official said to the ref it was a free-kick and the referee decided not to give it. Then it was the softest free-kick you’ll ever see against Shaun Byrne.
“Those inconsistencies annoy me but it’s not why we lost goals.
“The damage would have been done anyway because we didn’t start again.
“Same old problems, we didn’t start a game well enough.
“The difference on Saturday was we were against a really good side who could hurt us if we weren’t at it.
“The second goal was basic counter-attack football, we worked on that all week, but we couldn’t cope with it.
“Up until the third goal, we were creating chances and looking a threat.
“Kane had hit the bar and Ross Callachan did well, Declan McDaid had a few shots and we were creating real chances but then, bang, sucker punch.
“That knocked the stuffing out of us.
“It was an individual error and a costly one – it might still have finished 2-0 but we have to be better, individually and as a team, we have to be better all over the pitch.”