Source: The Evening Telegraph
Dundee boss Paul Hartley reckons his side have got to take the rough with the smooth.
The Dark Blues have taken some criticism for their performance in the 2-0 defeat to St Johnstone, which kicked off their post-split top-six charge in less-than-convincing fashion.
The most vociferous critic was the gaffer himself post-match, who tagged it their â€œworst performance of the season, by farâ€. But rather than dwell on the negatives, Paul hopes his players can take inspiration from it.
Theyâ€™ve been happy to accept the praise when itâ€™s come their way. And Paul says his players should have broad enough shoulders to take less kind words.
â€œWeâ€™ve got to be constructive about the criticism,â€ he said. â€œAs a team, weâ€™ve taken plenty of plaudits this season from everyone â€” it works both ways, though. â€œThe players, more than anyone, are disappointed with their performance. â€œThey know it really was poor. â€œBut weâ€™ve not had many days like that this season.
â€œThereâ€™s no getting away from it, though â€” St Johnstone were better than us on Saturday. â€œWe wanted to try to close the gap on the teams above us but we fell short on the day.â€
Having done so well to exceed expectations and claim themselves a top-six finish for the first time since the days of Julian Speroni, Fabian Caballero and Georgi Nemsadze back in 2003, Dundee are now facing up to a totally different task.
Having climbed their own Everest, the Dark Blues are going to have to do it all again to make sure their season doesnâ€™t fizzle out.
Paul has tasked his players to make the next four games of the season count. He fears if they donâ€™t itâ€™s a hangover that can be hard to shake. â€œWe want to make the next four games count,â€ he said. â€œThereâ€™s pride to play for as well as league places. â€œWe want to make sure we go into next season with a good mentality, not on a losing run. However, we have a tough run of games.â€