Graham Dorrans’ plan is to return to the Scottish Premiership one way or another.
And if he can make it back to the top flight by helping get Dundee promoted, all the better.
James McPake made a post-transfer window coup by snapping up his old Livingston team-mate on a deal through to the end of the season.
The drop from Rangers to the Championship may seem like a big one for an international footballer who should still be at the peak of his career but the former West Brom midfielder still has “big ambitions”.
“If it’s the Premiership with this club, great, but I still want to play as high as I can,” said Dorrans.
“I’ve got big ambitions to get back as high as possible
“Hopefully I can help the boys here.”
The McPake factor was a significant one when Dorrans was weighing up his options after being released by Rangers.
“Definitely,” he said. “We spoke a lot after the window closed. He was keen to get me in. This is the best place for me to play football and get myself fit.”
Dorrans knows his job description at Dundee – unlocking Championship defences.
It has been a big problem in the early weeks of the season, with the Dark Blues new boy getting a taste of that on a frustrating afternoon at Cappielow when one goal proved to be enough for the home side.
“That was probably evident today as well,” he said.
“I thought we dominated most of the game but just couldn’t find that final pass.
“That’s what we were missing and hopefully I can help with that when I get match fit.”
Dorrans hasn’t played competitive football for a year because of a knee injury but he is confident that problem is now behind him.
“I’ve trained every day since April back at Rangers and the knee feels fine,” he pointed out.
“Confidence in the knee isn’t an issue. I’ve played on astro pitches as well as grass. The knee’s fine, I just need match sharpness now.”
On leaving Ibrox, Dorrans said: “It was definitely tough but the situation I found myself in, I had to get out and play football.
“I’m 32 and, like I say, I’ve got ambitions to play as high as possible. It was the right decision.
“I’ve missed a lot of time through injuries and I want to be back playing football and enjoying football. I’ve missed the buzz of playing games on a Saturday.”
Dorrans was a second half substitute for Dundee, as were Kane Hemmings and Andrew Nelson.
By that point they were trailing to a Peter Grant first half stoppage time header after spurning several good opportunities in a period of dominance.
Chasing a game against a packed defence proved to be beyond the Dark Blues.
Cammy Kerr gave away the free-kick which led to the winner and it appeared as if Grant ran off the same man for his header as well.
“A moment of madness cost us the game before half-time,” McPake reflected.
Asked if that moment of madness was the concession of the set-piece or the failure to deal with it, the Dens boss answered: “Both.
“You give away a silly free-kick when the guy is 40 or 50 yards away from your goal at the touchline facing his own goal and then you lose your man.
“You say ‘don’t give away daft free-kicks’ but when a player gets a rush of blood to the head and costs you the game it’s unfortunate.
“My players gave me everything. I couldn’t have asked for any more in terms of effort.
“We got people on the pitch to try and get us back into the game but it’s a poor goal that has cost us.”
Dorrans might not have been able to turn this contest around but McPake is in no doubt that he will prove to be a valuable recruit.
He said: “Graham is an elite footballer – he’s proven that in England. He’s a frustrated footballer who is still hungry.
“Above all, I know his character and what he’ll bring to the dressing room. When you add the quality he’s got as well, I’ve got one hell of a player.
“He got a bit longer than I’d hoped today – because he didn’t even train with us – but he’ll be a massive help to us and a massive help to the player I thought was the stand-out on the pitch, which is happening week in, week out, Finlay Robertson.
“Graham will help Fin but above all else he’ll help Dundee Football Club when we get him fit.”