Dundee may have fallen to a second straight defeat and dropped out of the play-off places but it’s not the time for ranting and raving.
That’s the view of experienced midfielder Paul McGowan who insists “it’s not panic stations” at Dens Park as they prepare for a key clash with Ayr United.
Tuesday’s game follows a failure to win in their last three Championship matches but the former St Mirren and Celtic man reckons there’s more than enough quality at the club to turn things around quickly.
Victory in the first of their three games in hand would see the Dark Blues take back fourth place and set their sights on Raith and Dunfermline in second and third.
McGowan is determined to focus on the positives as Dundee aim to get back to winning ways against the Honest Men.
He said: “I’ll always speak the truth and be the first to admit when things aren’t going great.
“Everybody goes through tough spells. Look at Celtic now, it happens.
“We lost the game on Saturday but it’s not panic stations – we have a few games in hand, we win them and we are a point off second. We go from there.
“I don’t want to be too downbeat. Normally after a defeat, I am always raging.
“But I don’t think this is the time for that.
“I understand what we are trying to do and, if we can stop the individual errors hurting us, then I am confident.
“I don’t want to throw out all the ‘we go again’ things because it’s about time we showed it on the pitch.
“It’ll be a massive test of character coming up with a few hard games against Ayr and Morton.”
McGowan has become well-known for his brutal assessments of defeats during his time at Dundee, including a remarkable rant after a poor day against Tuesday’s opponents in November.
But he’s keen heads don’t drop for the Dark Blues.
“It’s been frustrating the seven years I’ve been here, we threaten to be a good side,” he added.
“Sometimes we turn up but then don’t do it for a sustained period of time.
“It’s the way this league is, if some players aren’t at it, the game becomes a dogfight.
“I’m confident if everybody is at it, we’ll beat anyone.
“But when a few aren’t at it, it becomes tough for us.
“The league is tight and we have games in hand but it’s alright saying that, we need to go win the games.
“It was a body blow on Saturday to lose the goal so early and that seemed to affect us.
“We had chances at 2-1, we score and we go from there.
“We hadn’t had a game for a while and I think the first half you could tell that.
“But we need to keep plugging away and it will take some big characters to stand up and be counted.
“The games will only get tougher.”
No harsh words on Saturday
Responding to setbacks is something McGowan wants to see from Dundee, starting on Tuesday night.
A big part of that he says is cutting out individual errors at both ends of the park.
On Saturday against Queen of the South, the Dark Blues coughed up three cheap goals against the Doonhamers but created a number of chances themselves.
Tighten up at both ends and McGowan expects Dundee to be back on track before long.
“A few words were said after the game on Saturday but they weren’t harsh words,” he said.
“It’s sloppy goals we are losing, individual mistakes killing us and it’s been that way all season.
“Set-plays and missing chances, collectively it’s hurting the team.
“When things don’t go our way, we lose a bit of focus and go away from what has brought us success.
“We need to get back to that because we know we are a good team, we just haven’t showed it enough.
“It is a test of character. We are criticised for Saturday’s result and rightly so, I won’t hide away from it.
“But we have a massive game against Ayr where we know if we aren’t at it then it’ll be a tough night.”