Dundee boss James McPake admits he could change “seven or eight” of his mis-firing Dees for Tuesday’s Championship clash with Ayr United.
However, he’s keen to see his players redeem themselves after their poor 3-2 defeat at home to Queen of the South on Saturday.
That loss saw them drop out of the play-off spots after a three-week break following a string of postponements.
Tuesday’s meeting with the Honest Men is the fourth attempt to play the fixture and McPake admits it is a massive match for both clubs.
Ayr dropped to the relegation play-off spot after defeat on Saturday but can go above Dundee on goal difference with victory.
Asked if he plans to make sweeping changes, McPake replied: “I have a big squad and, to be honest, I could probably change seven or eight of them.
“But do you give them the chance to come back and redeem themselves?
“If you can’t do the fundamentals and basics of football then it doesn’t matter who you pick.
“That’s Dave (Mackay) and I’s job, to stop it happening and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“This game on Tuesday is huge for both clubs, we need to get back to winning matches.
“The positive at the minute is we are creating a lot of chances, but it’s up to all of us – the coaching staff and the players to make sure we defend better.
“It’s crucial we get that right, starting against Ayr.”
‘Can we handle playing for this football club?’
And the Dens boss is backing his players to bounce back in their midweek test at Dens Park.
Victory would see them back into the top four and on the coat-tails of Raith Rovers and Dunfermline.
McPake added: “When you are in a sticky patch like we are at the minute you have to stand up.
“You have to be brave, stick your head on it in your own box and be brave when someone is running at you.
“Tuesday is a real test of character for the players, we need to see how they bounce back.
“Can we come out firing and handle playing for this football club?
“The players have never let me down in terms of work-rate and application.
“But I feel at the minute we are not doing the basics right, that’s where we have let ourselves down.
“The fundamental things you need to win games, that’s what we’ve not been doing.
“This isn’t me just badgering defenders because you defend as a team.
“You take blows in football but it’s about how you respond to it.
“I’m not buying the rustiness (on Saturday) after so many games going off, we trained well and worked hard because we knew the games would come.
“We need to realise that no matter who comes here, we have to approach the game the same way whether it’s Bonnyrigg Rose, Queen of the South or Hearts.
“Teams come here and want to make it hard for us but it’s up to us to break them down.”