Goals have been a big problem for Dundee lately – now their options for sticking the ball in the net are dwindling, too.
The Dark Blues haven’t found the net in their last five matches ahead of a trip to face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.
And they will certainly be without Alex Jakubiak after he dislocated a shoulder in an altercation in the city centre at the weekend.
Leigh Griffiths, meanwhile, has been hit with an SFA charge – on top of a police charge – following an alleged incident with a smoke-bomb in last week’s Premier Sports Cup clash against Saints.
That could result in a ban but the striker is available to travel to Perth this weekend – if he can shake off an ankle injury.
Griffiths limped off against Rangers on Saturday and remains a major doubt to face St Johnstone this weekend.
McPake said: “Leigh rolled his ankle and thought he could get it taped up and play on, but he wasn’t able to.”
On the SFA charge, the Dens boss added: “It’s in the hands of the SFA now so we have to take a step back and let the appropriate authorities deal with it.”
How long Jakubiak might be out of action with his shoulder injury is yet to be determined.
The setback is the latest in a long line of fitness issues for the former Watford man after he spent the vast majority of last season on the treatment table.
Having contracted Covid-19 this term, the 25-year-old was back to fitness again before the incident on Saturday night.
McPake said: “Alex Jakubiak is injured, he’ll definitely be out for the weekend.
“He’s got a shoulder injury and we are waiting to find out the extent of it.
“It was scanned late on Tuesday night but we are still waiting for the results.
“It’s frustrating because we have been waiting for him to come back and now he’s out again.
“So we have gone from looking very strong up front to losing a few.”
Back once more, though, is top scorer Jason Cummings.
The former Hibs man has netted five times this season but missed last week’s cup clash with Saints through illness.
Before the Rangers game, McPake revealed Cummings wasn’t back up to speed yet.
But he was forced into sending the Scotland international on after just 39 minutes as Griffiths went off.
“We were worried about putting Jason on that early but he came on and put in a good shift,” McPake added.
“Unfortunately he missed a penalty but he’s brave and he’d stand up to take another one next time.
“I thought Paul McMullan did well up front, he caused Rangers problems with his pace and I don’t think their defenders enjoyed playing against him.
“Paul enjoyed it so that’s another option up there if we need it.”