When I was about to sign for Dundee for the first time, I was told the club was a sleeping giant.
It wasn’t somebody at Dens Park who said it either. It was Jim Leishman, who was my manager at Livingston.
I still see the club that way.
And I’m sure everyone at Dundee knows they need to start getting points on the board if they want to live up to that tag this season.
There’s a clear frustration amongst Dark Blues fans at the moment.
There’s a frustration in the dressing room too if Paul McGowan’s comments are anything to go by.
Paul is an experienced professional, he’s been with Dundee for years and he clearly feels strongly about the club.
I’d imagine some players in the dressing room won’t appreciate the way their team-mate spoke after their defeat at Ayr last weekend.
Listen, nobody likes criticism. Everybody would rather a pat on the back.
But when things aren’t going well you’ve got to expect criticism.
When you see players digging out their teammates, the way Paul did, it suggests they are underperforming as a group.
And to be fair to McGowan, he didn’t let himself off the hook. He wasn’t pointing his fingers at others and saying: ‘I’m okay.’
He said he was poor himself. I respect that.
I understand the fans’ frustration, but personally, I can’t be too critical of how Dundee have started the season because we’ve not had the greatest of starts at Arbroath either.
What I can say – because it applies to both clubs – is that it’s a shorter Championship season this time around and hitting the ground running is so important.
Dunfermline are flying. Hearts are flying.
Arbroath and Dundee are looking for points.
But we’ve just got to get on with it. There’s nothing else for it.
We will work hard on the training ground and in games to make sure the points start coming. James McPake and his staff will be doing the same thing.
Dundee have had a fair bit of investment over the summer. On the other hand, they also lost Kane Hemmings, Josh Meekings and Graham Dorrans.
Even so, as a club, they should be up there.
As I said, they need to start picking up points – just so long as they don’t get any from Arbroath a week on Saturday!
Dundee aren’t in a special position this season in struggling to match form to expectations.
McPake will be working hard to try to turn the tide in his side’s favour, much like Neil Lennon is at Celtic.
For me, the problem Lenny faces at the moment is that people are getting carried away because Celtic have had so much success in recent years.
Look at the amount of trophies they’ve won… there’s the treble treble and they’re just one win away from a fourth.
Yes, this time around there’s a bit of a challenge on from Rangers and people have started to question Lenny.
But I’d like to see him prove a lot of people wrong.
Nobody will be shocked I’m saying that. He’s a friend of mine.
But because of that, I know Neil will be the first to say things haven’t been perfect at Celtic this season.
As the manager, it’s his job to pinpoint why.
Whether it’s tactical, a training issue, picking the wrong personnel, squad selection… whatever it is, Lenny will be set on fixing it.
Pressure comes with being Celtic manager. It’s part of the deal.
After all, if you lose a couple of games in a row, it’s a crisis.
Neil will know only too well that managers very quickly come under scrutiny when things aren’t going to plan.
That has always been the way.
But these days I think it’s even worse, with social media meaning the criticism never dies down.
I always said I didn’t fancy management much because, when things aren’t going well, there are always people appearing with criticism, people trying to make things happen, piling pressure on.
I’m not daft – I know that’s how the game works.
But if a manager is going to be put under pressure, he should be given time to react and sort out whatever isn’t going to plan.