Saturday’s improved performance against St Mirren is the minimum level Dundee can allow themselves if they have any chance of avoiding relegation, according to defender Nathan Ralph.
The Dark Blues felt they let the Buddies off the hook at Dens Park at the weekend in the 1-1 draw in what the full-back called one of their best displays of the season.
And he insists that has to be the standard they maintain for the rest of the campaign.
Ralph said: “I think it was a chance missed. I felt like we played as well as we have all season.
“We should have won the game and I felt we were the better team for most of it.
“To not get the three points was disappointing but the manager said it’s definitely something to build on and we’ll look to do that.
“When you are where we are in the table, the ball doesn’t seem to drop for you but you have to keep fighting through it.
“The manager told us that Saturday was the standard now – we need to stick to it and make sure it doesn’t go below that.”
The Dark Blues head into the international break still bottom of the Premiership with just four points to their name after picking up just their second result of the season.
Despite their very poor start to the campaign, the players still have belief they can get themselves out of trouble and the work they’ve been doing under new boss Jim McIntyre will pay dividends.
“It’s still there, the players believe in what we are doing, that showed against St Mirren and everyone is buying into it, so I feel like it’s just a matter of time,” added Ralph.
“The intensity has been really high in training and the manager definitely demands hard work.
“I think we showed that on Saturday.
“We’ve got the international break now and I feel like it would have been good to have another game this week and keep the momentum going. However, we’ll definitely be working on things over the next couple of weeks and look to improve on Saturday’s performance.”
Ralph was something of a surprise inclusion against the Buddies, having been missing from first-team action since the end of August with a damaged hamstring tendon.
The former Woking man admits he had a slow start to life at Dens Park in his opening games but put on an impressive show in just his third league appearance for the club.
The left-back was strong in the air, confident on the ball and an attacking threat throughout Saturday’s 1-1 draw.
The 25-year-old admits he was blowing a bit by the end after a tough game but was delighted to get a first 90 minutes under his belt in over two months.
“It had been a while but it felt good to be back out there and, with the slow start I’d had at Dundee, it was nice to have a decent performance as well,” added the former Yeovil Town man.
“It would have been nice to get the win, too, but you can’t have everything.
“I felt alright by the end, not as bad as I thought I might be having been out so long.
“It was just about getting through that first 90 minutes and it’ll get better from here.
“It’s never nice to be sitting on the sidelines, especially with the way the results have been going. You feel like you want to help out where you can and obviously being injured, you can’t.
“It had been a long time doing that so it felt good to be back out there and help us get a point on the board.
“We need to build on that now.”