Dundee manager James McPake says he is “100% confident” he can turn the club’s poor form around after a damaging 2-0 defeat at Ayr United.
The loss left the Dark Blues eight points behind Championship leaders Dunfermline after just five matches, with only one victory to their name this campaign.
Fans may not be in the stands to watch the games but are growing increasingly angry with the form shown by McPake’s men and many are calling for a change in manager online.
The former club captain, however, has vowed to “keep working away until we get it right”.
McPake said: “I’m confident in my work. I’m confident I can get this group going.
“But confidence doesn’t win you games of football.
“We need to get a team on the pitch that can win games, that’s brave enough to play for this football club with the pressures and demands.
“We are not performing at a football club when there are no fans. I’ve played when the fans are there and they are demanding, rightly so, because it’s a big club but we are not producing.
“In reality it should be a bit easier with no fans, we should be playing with less pressure but at the minute we are not.
“We need to get a team on the pitch that is brave and confident enough to get results for this club.
“Am I confident I can do it? 100%.
“I believe in my work and my staff and we will keep working away until we get it right at this club.”
He added: “I understand completely why the fans are angry.
“I’ve played at this club and I know how demanding the fans are and rightly so.
“It’s a well-backed club and a big club. I completely understand their frustrations and disappointment in the results.
“We’ve told the players that we are representing a big football club and the standards need to be better but it’s every week now.
“It needs to get better quickly, we know that.
“We are working hard in training but it means nothing if 15 minutes into a game you are 2-0 down.”
The Dark Blues were one down at Somerset Park before the contest even got started with debutant goalkeeper Adam Legzdins picking the ball out of his net after just three minutes.
Poor defending allowed Dundee United loanee Cammy Smith to open the scoring before Michael Moffat scored his 100th goal for Ayr shortly afterwards.
After that Dundee came into the game but were unable to beat Ayr No 1 Viljami Sinisalo, on loan from Aston Villa, with the Finn making some impressive saves.
The result leaves the Dark Blues in seventh spot in the Championship table.
McPake said: “The results and performances at this football club aren’t acceptable – we know that.
“We are working ever so hard to get it right but that means nothing when you can’t defend. We should be much better than we are.
“We get back on the training ground on Monday.
“As a group we all need to take a long, hard look at ourselves, staff, players, everybody.
“What I will say is we are well backed, even through difficult times we are well backed and, in my opinion, we have a good group of players.
“Again it all comes back to defending – if you can’t do that properly…
“We tried all summer to get another goalkeeper in. It didn’t happen. We got one this week.
“We also signed Liam Fontaine, an experienced centre-back, because we need to plug that gap.
“The two positives in the game were Max Anderson, who looked like the most experienced player on the pitch, and (Alex) Jakubiak gets longer than we wanted but we needed to change something.
“We got him a good 25 minutes. At the minute we need good players and we need them back.”
🏆 Scottish Championship table pic.twitter.com/TQgMRXQ1Gy
— SPFL (@spfl) November 21, 2020