The gap is getting bigger but the attitude at Dundee remains the same – the Championship title race will be a marathon, not a sprint.
The last two weekends have seen Dundee United extend their lead over their city rivals from four points to nine, with the Dark Blues losing at Morton and drawing with Queen of the South while the Tangerines have been beating Arbroath and Morton.
Asked whether the table is a cause for panic, Dundee full-back Cammy Kerr insisted: “Definitely not.
“There are 30-odd games to go and it would be silly for people to say that a nine-point gap (which Ayr United have also opened up) can’t be clawed back.
“It’s been done plenty of times before at both ends of the table.
“We’ve got a really good bunch of boys. That will carry us a long way and I’m sure things are going to click for us.
“It’s seven games in and people are looking at is as a poor start.
“We’ve been fine but we know that there is better to come.”
In Kane Hemmings, Danny Johnson and Andrew Nelson Dundee have attacking options that wouldn’t look out of place in the top flight of Scottish football, never mind the second tier. Their combined total of six is less than half Lawrence Shankland has scored in the league on his own, however.
Kerr believes the goalscoring figures of the Dundee trio will soon start to reflect the players’ talent.
“The goals aren’t flowing for the strikers yet but I see them every day in training,” he said. “They all bring different things to the table.
“Teams are sitting in, making it stuffy and making it difficult.
“There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s something we have to deal with. We’re struggling to break teams down but we’ve got the firepower to do it.”
Kerr’s concession of a foul at Cappielow which led to the only goal of the game was highlighted by his manager as the key moment in that contest. The defender’s response at Palmerston on Friday night, which included a late goal-line clearance, was the perfect one.
A lesson has been learned.
“Last week I was playing well and it was a stupid decision I made in the last minute of the first half,” Kerr reflected.
“It was in the back of my mind all night (against Queen of the South) that I don’t need to dive in.
“I know that I’m good enough defensively and quick enough to deal with most players. The gaffer reiterated that to me through the week.
“I need to remember that.
“Sometimes you get too caught up in winning the ball but you have to keep in mind the situation of the game.
“At that moment last week it was daft.
“I’m happy to have made that goal-line clearance but that’s what I’m there for.”
Accepting blame certainly wasn’t an issue for a dedicated professional like Kerr.
He said: “I’ve played in the team for a number of years now. I’m not young anymore, even though I’m still learning the game.
“You need to know when you’re in the wrong and I knew that straight away the other week.
“It’s about learning from your mistakes and working on what you’re maybe not so good at.”
Kerr expects Graham Dorrans to have a growing influence on the Dundee team now that he has got 90 minutes under his belt.
“He was great,” said Kerr. “He dictated the play and was a calming influence on the team. That’s something we’ll need in the long winter months.”
Meanwhile, McPake confirmed that Paul McGowan missed out on Friday because of tonsillitis.
Josh Mcpake “got a little kick” before his substitution early in the second half but the Dundee boss noted: “It was a tactical change. Shaun Byrne got in beside Graham and Fin (Robertson) and we had a lot more of the ball after the change.”