Dundee manager James McPake: There will be a gulf in class between us and everyone in Championship if we play as badly again

Dundee manager James McPake during his side's 6-2 defeat by Hearts in the Championship opener (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)Dundee manager James McPake during his side's 6-2 defeat by Hearts in the Championship opener (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Dundee manager James McPake during his side's 6-2 defeat by Hearts in the Championship opener (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
James McPake admits he needs to move quickly to sort out Dundee or they will be a long way short of every team in the Championship after a woeful opening day performance against Hearts.

The Dens Park manager was not in the mood to sugarcoat things following the 6-2 defeat. Although Dundee improved marginally in the second half, they still conceded two late goals to lose 6-2 to a Robbie Neilson side once again.

Dundee were beaten by the same scoreline by neighbours Dundee United just over a year ago during Neilson’s time in charge at Tannadice. They now face two huge home games against Morton and Raith Rovers.

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“On that performance there is a massive gulf – not just with Hearts, but with any team if we perform like that,” said McPake. “It will take people with big characters, players with big characters (to recover). There’s two massive home games now, we need to be at it or the same thing will happen. It is all about confidence and character now.”

McPake’s side, expected to be the main title rivals to Hearts, were crushed by their hosts despite a first competitive goal for the club from midfielder Charlie Adam. The 34-year-old midfielder scored a stunning solo effort in the first-half to cut the deficit to one after Hearts had stuck twice in the opening 25 minutes.

But two further goals before half-time meant Dundee were chasing the game in the second-half, with striker Danny Mullen having replaced centre-half Jordon Forster at half-time. “We were not at the races,” said McPake. “We deserved everything we got out of it which was nothing.”

He lamented his side’s inability to prevent the loss of an early goal after Michael Smith opened the scoring after four minutes. “It was the last thing we said in the dressing room before we came out,” he said. “We knew it would be the case. We could not handle it.”

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McPake stressed he could take no positives from the evening – not even Adam’s superb strike. “None,” he said. “Even the second half it is easy to look positive when you are 4-1 down. It doesn’t take courage to do that.”

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