Dundee are determined to make their stay at the bottom of the Premiership a short one and to repay their supporters for letting them down at the weekend, Ethan Robson has pledged.
The on-loan Sunderland midfielder, who scored his first goal for the Dark Blues after just 26 seconds in the Premiership basement battle against St Mirren, knows that they underperformed after the Buddies levelled and then took the lead.
The defeat has left Dundee two points adrift of their Saturday opponents but, with Saints facing Celtic on Wednesday night while Dundee play St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, the opportunity is there to switch positions again.
“It was a dream start for us,” said Robson. “The manager said we had to come out sharp and give the fans (all 1,600 of them) something to cheer about and we did that.
“So it’s a massive blow when you start like that and lose. The second half wasn’t as sharp as it could have been.
“Everyone is gutted in the dressing room. We wanted to give them something to cheer. We did that with our start, but we took the foot off the gas in the second half.
“We need to keep positive. If we can get six points out of six, that will change things.
“We’ve got two massive games coming up and we’ve got a chance of putting it right by winning them.”
Robson remains “100%” convinced that Dundee will survive in the top flight.
“We have players in there who can create something out of nothing,” he pointed out
“We started brilliantly, but I definitely think there is enough quality in the dressing room to get out of this mess we are in.”
There was still over half-an-hour left in the game when Saints took the lead – and it was the last third of the game that disappointed boss Jim McIntyre most.
Robson can understand why.
“Everyone’s confidence dropped,” he said. “We needed to get it back by making a few chances and getting the crown going again, but that never happened.
“The important thing now is to bounce back on Wednesday.
“The last thing we want to do is feel sorry for ourselves. It’s football.
“Against Celtic we put in a great performance and were very unlucky. It feels like our luck needs to change at some time. We need to give the fans something to cheer about.”
Jack Ross has sent Robson to Dens Park on loan to get game-time after an injury-interrupted first half of the season.
A relegation battle is a bit different to a Wembley final and a promotion chase with his parent club, but Robson is happy with the choice he made.
“I want to play, score goals and keep this club in the Premier League and hopefully we can do that,” he said.
“I have big games coming up here and I will be focused on Dundee.
“I had a good conversation with him (Ross) and he just told me to come here and get some games.
“I’m at the stage now that I need to be playing games and he agreed and we came to the decision to come to Dundee.
“He wouldn’t be happy I scored against his old club though! But I came here to score goals and I am delighted I got one, although the result didn’t go our way.”
Robson’s opener – a low finish from a John O’Sullivan cross – was cancelled out on 13 minutes when a Duckens Nazon cross was finished off by Danny Mullen. And the winner was a Brad Lyons header after the Dundee defence was caught sleeping at a long diagonal and then a back post set-up back into the danger area.
Ex-Dundee defender Gary MacKenzie made his first start of the season after Achilles surgery and, instead of looking over their shoulder, St Mirren are now focused on chasing down Hamilton Accies, he claimed.
The centre-back said: ““We aren’t playing for 11th. We want to be safe and finish the season with no worries.
“We’ve got to play Hamilton twice and it’s in our hands. If we better their run-in and beat them, we’ll be above them. We are not relying on anybody else. If we go there on Saturday and win, we’ll draw them right in.
“Taking more points off them and Dundee is the aim.”