In an ideal world Dundee’s new-look team would be given until the end of March before expectations were put on them to perform like a settled unit.
But relegation battles do not allow for those sort of luxuries, manager Jim McIntyre has admitted.
The Dens Park boss is familiar with drastic overhauls of a squad from his time at Ross County.
And asked how long it took before the Staggies were a side sculpted in his image, he replied: “A couple of months.”
McIntyre added: “Obviously that can’t be the case here.
“We need to make sure we keep picking up as many points as we can.
“It’s certainly not easy to get players to gel quickly but I’ve been very encouraged with what I’ve seen so far. We’ve got good types, the atmosphere in the dressing room is good and it’s up to us.”
Dundee’s last home game was an unlucky defeat to Motherwell and McIntyre believes that standard of display needs to be the benchmark for tonight’s clash with Kilmarnock.
“That’s the level of performance that we want to be playing at,” he said.
“We need to be better in the final third but in terms of the tempo and the physicality we showed, it was good. We’ll have to be like that against Kilmarnock.
“They’re a strong team, with good flair in the wider areas and full-backs who bomb on. They have a lot seven out of 10s in their team. That’s why they’ve been so consistent.
“They counter very quickly and they counter very well.
“They’re used to winning. That comes from having a lot of players who know their jobs. There is less need for structure to be put open them because of that.
“The fans were superb here last time. We’re going to need them again. It’s a cup final for every week just now. We’ll be doing everything we can to get the points.”
Darren O’Dea has recovered from illness and will be available, while McIntyre is also optimistic a groin problem won’t keep Ethan Robson out.