January signings have it tough.
Especially coming into a team in Dundee’s situation.
Low on confidence, struggling for form, injuries biting deep and the pressure of the Dark Blues’ league position all make it a necessity to hit the ground running if you’re a new recruit at Dens.
Had it been the first game after the summer deadline day or had Dundee been in Dundee United’s or even Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s position in the league, James McPake would probably have waited another week to give Christophe Berra his debut.
But Dundee need results and points and McPake needs each and every signing he made last month to be, if not instant successes, then pretty near to it.
As their mid-table Championship status now shows, this is not a slow-build. Time is not their friend.
I don’t think McPake has anything to worry about with Berra. He’ll be a hit at this level. I have no doubt about that.
Ross Callachan has shown enough already to suggest his energy in midfield will be an asset and Conor Hazard is a good goalkeeper. Instinct at the game to give him some blame for Morton’s goal was probably harsh on reflection.
Christie Elliott made an impact off the bench and you can see him popping up to cover a few different positions over the next few months. We’ve yet to see if Tom Field has what it takes.
The player who carries the biggest responsibility is arguably the youngest, Ollie Crankshaw.
Dundee’s need for width has been glaring for some time and the 21-year-old has been brought in to provide it.
He looked promising off the bench at East End Park but that was with the pressure off when he and the team had nothing to lose.
Given a start at Cappielow, the Wigan man struggled to get into the game, let alone get past his full-back.
Hopefully he’s a quick learner.
Dundee fans have seen so many short-term signings show glimpses of promise but then fade into the background over the last couple of years.
The January Six need to buck that trend.