James McPake “wasn’t bothered” about Dundee’s performance last week at home to Morton – this weekend, though, he’s challenged his side to up their game against Raith.
And the Dens gaffer says he’s seen “promising” improvements already this season from his Dark Blues, despite being just two weeks into the campaign.
Following the disappointment of the heavy opening day defeat to Hearts, McPake’s men edged their way past David Hopkin’s Ton with Jonathan Afolabi’s goal enough to seal three points.
Getting the victory was all that concerned the Dundee manager.
McPake said: “We’re looking for consistency, I keep saying it.
“Last week I wasn’t bothered about the performance but watching it back it was better than I thought at the time.
“Last week we just had to get three points and nothing else would matter.
“We were blinkered a bit with that but watching it back there was some great stuff in the game, things we’d been working on.
“It’s about keeping that level of performance up while we are still getting fitter.
“We have a few still working their way up – Danny Mullen, Charlie Adam, Alex Jakubiak. They are all getting up to speed and getting better over time.
“But consistency is massive.
“Looking back now, the Forfar game being called off killed us a wee bit.
“It was a great chance to get another 90 minutes into them but it got called off.
“Yeah, we got the 3-0 win but we wanted the minutes under the player’s belts.
“Then there’s one game against Brora before bang, you’re right into a league campaign.
“Nothing could’ve been done about that but I feel we are in much better shape now.
Tomorrow is another home clash with an in-form side, this time Raith Rovers, fresh from a 5-2 win at Queen of the South after a 3-0 victory over Arbroath.
Returning to the second tier after three season in League One, the Kirkcaldy club have wasted no time in shooting to the top of the table.
Dundee, though, can catch the Championship’s top team with victory while also going level with Hearts, who are in Scottish Cup action.
“Raith have had a great start and I’ve been really impressed with them,” McPake added.
“We’ve had them watched and they have some real threats and good players.
“Any game in this league will be a tough, tough test and you need to be right at it.
“We need to be ourselves and take control of the game being the home side.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
It’s likely young goalie Calum Ferrie will continue in goal, the first time he will have started consecutive games for the Dark Blues, after a clean sheet last week.
McPake coached the Englishman with the club’s U/20s and is delighted to see the 22-year-old grab his first-team opportunity after being third-choice last season.
The Dens gaffer added: “It is a battle for that spot.
“Calum did great last week and Jack is a former Scotland goalkeeper.
“Both are really good and trained really well. I’m delighted with that at the minute.
“Calum was really unlucky last year. There was the Elgin game where there was a slack back pass and he ends up getting sent off. Then Conor Hazard was made available and Calum kind of got overlooked.
“But one thing I will say about Calum is his work-rate, determination and desire to get better is top class.
“He’s always working on his game and I think it was time for him to get a chance.
“He’s grabbed it.”