In the build-up to the start of the Premiership season, Dundee boss Neil McCann gathered his players together for a chat.
He told them, in no uncertain terms, that they could not afford to start this league campaign the way they ended the last one.
Just to recap, the final two fixtures in May saw the Dark Blues lose at home to a team from the Highlands (Inverness) and then get hammered by Hamilton away from home.
As someone perhaps once said, it is déjà vu all over again.
Instead of getting off to a flyer, the Dens men have done exactly what their manager asked them not to do and find themselves bottom of the table after losing to Ross County and Hamilton.
The Dens gaffer was left both frustrated and angry by this 3-0 loss on Saturday, the former because of the spurned chances and the latter due to bad defending, particularly at Accies’ second goal.
Scott Allan and Faissal El Bakhtaoui both missed gilt-edged opportunities in the opening 10 minutes before the visitors followed suit with a succession of near-things in the latter stages of the match, which included Allan’s sky-high spotkick.
McCann said: “I’m so frustrated because you just look at each other and you just know what you’re going to face at Hamilton.
“I thought we did start the game really well and didn’t take the clear-cut chances.
“Looking at the end of the game we’ve probably got five, maybe six, 100% chances to score. They were not even good chances, they should have been in.
“I then thought we totally dominated the second half – from start to finish.
“The penalty summed it up because we didn’t even hit the target.
“I told the players that I can’t be too hard on them in terms of rolling over and surrendering because they didn’t do that.
“They kept going, kept pushing and creating chances.
“But if you don’t take chances then you probably don’t deserve to get anything.
“I am so frustrated and I am angry at the two goals we lost (other than the penalty).
“It was a cheap goal from a setpiece for the first one then the second goal was the one that really bothered the coaching staff because we have worked very hard at eradicating the space he (scorer Steven Boyd) ran into.
“As a back four, we have said to them, that we are not going to accept that.
“We will batter it into them until it becomes second nature.”
So the derby delight didn’t last long for Dundee as they made it two successive defeats in the Premiership.
The Dark Blues may have gotten the better of neighbours Dundee United in the Betfred Cup on Wednesday but they came off second best to Accies.
Added to the home loss to County the previous weekend, it leaves them pointless a couple of matches into the campaign.
It could have been so different, though, had they made the most of the blistering start they made in Lanarkshire.
The visitors squandered a couple of excellent early chances to take the lead, with Allan and El Bakhtaoui the guilty parties.
They were made to pay when Darian MacKinnon’s well-placed strike made it 1-0 on 25 minutes then Boyd’s clever chip doubled Hamilton’s lead on 36 minutes.
Allan should have got one back for the visitors on 78 minutes but skied his spotkick and Accies grabbed their third – from the spot up at the other end – through Dougie Imrie with just five minutes to go.
The Dark Blues made two changes to the side that started the derby win over United.
Winger Roarie Deacon picked up a knock against the Tangerines so didn’t feature, while young central defender Kerr Waddell was given a place on the bench despite playing so well in the cup-tie. Waddell’s spot was taken by skipper Darren O’Dea, now free of suspension, while Randy Wolters started out wide.
Hamilton created a good chance after just two minutes, with Boyd shooting over the bar after an Ioannis Skondras cross was headed on by Ali Crawford.
The Dark Blues then broke clear through Allan a couple of minutes later but the midfielder cut it back to Marcus Haber and the Canadian’s shot was blocked. The ball came back to Allan and this time his strike was saved by keeper Gary Woods.
There was then a remarkable let-off for Accies as Dundee frontman El Baktaoui had no fewer than three consecutive strikes at goal.
The first shot was saved by Woods, the rebound hit the post and then the third attempt flew wide.
Having enjoyed the mother of all escapes, Accies took the lead on 25 minutes.
A corner from the left was floated over by Crawford and it eventually made its way to MacKinnon at the edge of the box.
The finish was a good one, with the Accies man sending the ball through a ruck of players and just inside keeper Scott Bain’s right-hand post.
Rakish Bingham was unsuccessful with an overhead kick as Hamilton looked for a second goal but they did make it 2-0 on 36 minutes.
The man inflicting the pain on the visitors this time was Boyd and it was a sublime finish. He was found by a great pass from MacKinnon and took a terrific first touch before lifting the ball over the head of Bain from 25 yards.
In first-half stoppage-time, Dundee captain O’Dea required treatment but was able to play on, while Haber headed into Woods’ arms from an Allan corner as the whistle was blown for the interval.
The Dark Blues took off O’Dea on 54 minutes, Waddell replacing him, with the first-half injury finally getting the better of the Irishman.
Dundee came close to getting one back when sub Danny Williams’ header went just wide.
The hosts had a go on 68 minutes when a Crawford corner to the edge of the box was volleyed by Scott McMann only to hit a wall of players.
Williams was looking lively and he had a great chance to score when sent clear but he fired straight at Woods.
The Dark Blues then missed their best chance of all – a penalty on 78 minutes.
Skondras fouled Williams inside the box and referee Bobby Madden pointed to the spot. Up stepped Allan to blast his shot over the bar and keep the scoreline at 2-0.
Haber then had an opportunity but Woods pulled out a great save from close range to deny the Dens striker.
With five minutes left, it was 3-0 to Accies as they themselves made sure from the spot, with Imrie blasting home after Kevin Holt had fouled Templeton.