Calling it a “baptism of fire” does not quite do justice to what Dundee keeper David Mitchell went through at Tannadice yesterday.
Since he joined the Dark Blues from Stranraer in the summer, the 25-year-old has had to be content with an understudy role to club No.1 Scott Bain.
However, when Bain was sent off just five minutes into the second half, Mitchell was thrust into the spotlight to make his debut in the frenzied atmosphere of a Dundee derby.
Unfortunately for him, he could not make himself an instant hero with the Dark Blues’ fans, being unable to keep out the Billy Mckay penalty that had followed Bain’s dismissal.
Mitchell though then went on to give a good account of himself with several good saves although he felt he could have done better at United’s equaliser.
He said: “I knew I would be needed at some point.
“I wasn’t expecting it today but it was good and I enjoyed it.
“I’m not really sure what was going through my head (when he saw Bain’s red). I just had to take my place in goal and do what I do.
“I was going to take my time at the penalty to maybe get in their heads a bit but it didn’t work unfortunately.
“I was really disappointed at the second goal, obviously. I’m not sure if I even should have come for it as there were a lot of bodies in my way.
“Maybe I should have just let my defenders deal with it.
“But I have to look at the positives rather than that negative. It is one of those things that I will learn from.
“I have made mistakes in the past and it is just something that you have to learn from.”
With Bain set to serve a suspension after his time away with the Scotland squad, Mitchell could be handed his big chance to start between the sticks.
However, he admitted he was taking nothing for granted.
He said: “I’m not sure what’s happening whether they are going to look at bringing in cover.
“But I am looking forward to it and it will be another good experience for me.”
Dundee’s top six ambitions took a dent at Tannadice but Mitchell is confident they can still attain their goal this season.
He said: “We have to look up and try to get into the top six.
“We need to stay positive and look up, not the other way.
“With our squad and the way we play attacking football and we have tightened up at the back as well we definitely have the quality there to do it.”