Dundee defender Ryan Sweeney admits he’s still getting to grips with Scottish football.
The 24-year-old moved north of the border in the summer but has already had a swift taste of the challenges in the Premiership.
In his six appearances this season, Sweeney has faced both sides of the Glasgow divide and a heated derby at the home of rivals Dundee United.
Neither the trip to Celtic nor Tannadice ended well for the defender – for different reasons – but the former Stoke City man impressed against the champions last week.
And he’s determined to build on that as he prepares to face Tayside rivals St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park today.
“Personally, I am still learning every day, playing with some real quality players,” he said.
“When you come up against players like the Rangers ones last Saturday, it is a real learning curve.
“We can take massive heart out of how we played. It wasn’t like we just sat on the edge of the box and said, ‘come and try to break us down’.
“We had a right go at them and maybe with a bit more luck on the day, we could have earned something that our performance definitely warranted.
“It is still early on in the season but I think you could see on Saturday how gutted we were at the end after taking the champions all the way.
“I don’t know if it is a bit of luck but we just need something to drop for us.
“But like I said, we are in really good spirits and we move on to the weekend against St Johnstone – it is a game we are really looking forward to.”
Finding the scoring touch has deserted Dundee of late with the Dark Blues drawing five blanks in a row heading to Perth.
Though his job is mainly about keeping the opposition out, Sweeney admits it’s up to everyone in the team to help break that scoring duck.
“We all have to take that responsibility to score goals especially as we have had a few corners as well,” he added.
“We need to start getting on the end of them and try to help out the forwards.
“It isn’t just the forwards who need to take all the responsibility of scoring, it is up to the whole 11 who are out on the pitch to put the ball into the back of the net.”
Sweeney missed the Premier Sports Cup quarter-final against St Johnstone last week after suffering a head knock against Dundee United a few days before.
Blocking a shot early on, the defender was forced off before the break.
Sweeney said: “It hit me in the side of the head and I played on for 20 odd minutes but then I literally couldn’t see anything – when you look at the touchline and you can’t see anyone it is a sensible thing to go off.
“People are now more aware of head knocks but I also didn’t want to cost the team in any sort of way. The ball was flying and I couldn’t see it.
“Especially in a big game like that, you don’t want to end up costing the team.
“I just had to take myself out of the firing line.”