Dundee are in a relegation battle, no doubt about it.
Just as the Dark Blues looked to be heading in the right direction, they were smashed down to Earth with a shuddering thud.
Ross County had never beaten anyone 5-0 in the Scottish top flight before last night.
And the nature of the display has led to renewed calls from fans for James McPake to be relieved of his duties.
But where did it all go so badly wrong?
Just when the Dark Blues seem to be getting it together, in comes a result to knock them back to square one again.
Inconsistency has been a constant during McPake’s tenure.
After beating Aberdeen and earning a good draw at Hearts, the woeful nature of this performance was just not on the horizon.
And neither were the individual displays of some of Dundee’s most reliable players.
Left-back Jordan Marshall is a contender for the club’s most consistent performer since his arrival in 2019.
Last night, he was caught out for the opening goal and suffered a shocker of a first half.
Not that he was the only one, however. Adam Legzdins has had a good start to the season but gifted goal No 2 after hitting his clearance off Jordan White, giving Ross Callachan an easy job to score.
Skipper Charlie Adam gave away a needless free-kick for the third. There was no way of knowing Joseph Hungbo would finish so superbly but the careless tackle was punished.
And Marshall again gave the ball away for the fourth goal before the break.
That none of the 11 Dark Blues competed should send alarm bells ringing around Dens Park.
Shaun Byrne-shaped hole
Dundee coped without their midfield anchor very well at Tynecastle at the weekend.
Last night Max Anderson, though, was also missing and the absence of Byrne was keenly felt against Ross County.
Covering for the missing Byrne at Hearts were the legs in midfield with both Anderson and Jordan McGhee there.
With Paul McGowan and Charlie Adam, that won’t be the case. Both have quality on the ball but mobility is sorely lacking.
For the majority of the game the midfield was largely non-existent as County picked their way through the home side with ease.
Central midfield had been a position with an abundance of options for James McPake.
Suddenly with two missing, that area of the pitch has become a major problem to solve.
To say Dundee fans were unhappy with Paul McMullan’s substitution after just 37 minutes would be an understatement.
The winger has been a vital part of the good things Dundee have done this season.
And didn’t seem to be playing any worse than the other 10 Dark Blues on the pitch.
Dundee’s left flank, though, was a big problem.
The knock-on effect could be more troublesome for the Dens boss, however. To be subbed before half-time is an embarrassment for a player and bringing such a key man back round may be a difficult task.
The 25-year-old was clearly angry with the decision just like the Dundee supporters.
Manager McPake may need to repair the relationship with McMullan but he’s got a lot more work on that front to get the club’s fans back onside.
Reaction to the result online saw plenty wanting a change in the dugout – in the stadium chants of ‘getting sacked in the morning’ were heard coming from the home support.
The Dens boss has had some bad days during his time in charge but admitted this performance was the worst.
What he has shown in his two years as manager is an ability to bounce back from disappointment.
He needs that quickly. Fans were unhappy with the defeat at St Johnstone a fortnight ago, they are furious now.
They are calling on managing director John Nelms to act. Will he listen?