Dundee have rebuilt under James McPake, but is it enough to see them bounce back to the top?
McPake took over from Jim McIntyre at the tail end of last season for the final game, a 3-2 defeat by St Mirren.
Since then, a lot has changed. Dundee are now sitting fourth in the Championship – just inside the playoff places – after a summer of 13 arrivals and 15 departures.
Incomings and outgoings
James McPake has brought in 13 players in his first transfer window for the Dark Blues.
He has brought in midfielders Graham Dorrans from Rangers, Shaun Byrne from Livingston, Declan McDaid from Ayr United, and striker Kane Hemmings is back at Dens from Notts County.
Leaving the club was goalscorer Kenny Miller and Faissal El Bakhtaoui, defender Darren O’Dea and midfielder James Vincent.
McPake’s first win in his reign at Dundee came in the League Cup at Raith Rovers with a 3-0 win. This was followed by wins on penalties against Cove Rangers and Peterhead, before a 1-0 success over Inverness Caledonian Thistle thanks to a goal from Danny Johnson.
In the last 16 the Dark Blues faced off against Aberdeen. Dundee put up a tremendous effort only to be knocked out by an extra-time goal, which saw the Dons edge it.
The biggest low of McPake’s reign so far is undoubtedly the 6-2 defeat by their rivals Dundee United.
It was a United performance that struck fear into their Championship rivals, especially Dundee, who fell seven points behind the Arabs after just four games – it was only the second time in history United had scored half-a-dozen goals against the Dark Blues.
And since then Dundee have lost two games, drawn three and won three, leaving them fourth in the table.
So far for McPake, so good.
With a rebuilt squad containing a set of strong and experienced players, can James McPake bounce Dundee back to the Premiership?