Dundee skipper Jordan McGhee says it’s time for the Dark Blues to show their “big personalities” by moving up the Championship table with victory at Alloa tonight.
McGhee will lead his team out under the Friday night lights at the Indodrill Stadium for this week’s TV clash knowing three points are needed to kickstart their promotion push.
After the major disappointment of the opening day thumping at Hearts, Dundee responded immediately with a win over Morton.
However, they were denied a second victory in succession last weekend when Raith Rovers equalised late on to secure a 1-1 draw.
With Dunfermline racking up three wins from their opening three games and the Jambos also maintaining a 100% record after two games, McGhee knows the Dark Blues can’t afford many more slip-ups.
He said: “There is always pressure at a club like Dundee and you expect that.
“You take it on the chin and you deal with that daily.
“Going out onto the pitch, it takes big personalities and bottle to do it. I do believe that in our dressing-room we have the players with that mentality.
“It is just about finding our top form and confidence.
“But we need to pick up points.
“We have to make sure our standards are high and we perform for 90 minutes.”
After a good first 45 minutes against Raith – where Dundee lead 1-0 thanks to Charlie Adam’s goal – McGhee felt those standards fell in the 87th minute as Raith snatched their equaliser.
It was our job to see the game out but we never did that. We were all absolutely gutted.”
Frankie Musonda popped up to knock in from a corner, a goal the Dens skipper described as “weak” from the home side’s point of view.
“We played well in the first half but we let our standards drop in the second,” McGhee said.
“Conceding such a weak goal like that was a difficult one to take.
“It would have been a big three points for us as Raith have started the season really well.
“It was a bit similar to the Morton game where we defended our box well and limited their chances but on Saturday, as I said, it was just a poor goal all round.
“It was a sickening one to take, especially as we were in such control in the first half and probably could have scored two or three.
“It would have killed the game off. It was our job to see the game out but we never did that.
“We were all absolutely gutted.
“The way we conceded the goal just didn’t sit right with everyone in the dressing-room and it is something we have to put right tonight.”
As captain, McGhee takes responsibility for maintaining those standards.
However, he says there wasn’t much geeing up needed for the Dundee squad this week.
“The standards never dropped this week and training was brilliant,” he added.
“Everyone was bang at it.
“The gaffer said that himself, that everyone was getting after the ball and the boys were looking bright.”
Dundee’s record against Alloa last season was a good one – two victories and a 0-0 draw that saw the Dark Blues applauded off the pitch by home fans at Dens Park for their performance, despite not managing to get a deserved winner.
Their last trip to the Indodrill saw a double from Kane Hemmings added to by loanee Sean Mackie in a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Those two may have moved on – Hemmings to Burton Albion and Mackie back to parent club Hibs – but McGhee has called for more of the same on the plastic in Clackmannanshire.
“It was probably one of the best away games we played,” he said.
“The pitch isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it is the same for both teams.
“We have trained on astro all week and we have prepared well for it.
“A carbon copy would be ideal for us.
“I would say last season’s game was our most complete 90 minutes.
“We felt in control and dictated things. That game felt just right.
“We were going through a good bit of form at that time. We had won a couple of games and that just topped it off.
“But we need to get ourselves back to that and we are more than capable of doing it.”