JOHN Brown starts life as Dundee’s interim manager at Dens Park as the SPL’s basement side tackle St Johnstone.
With his side firmly anchored to the bottom and weighed down by a 15-point deficit, the former Dundee and Rangers player has a battle on his hands on two fronts as he seeks to save his side from the drop back to Division One.
First he must rebuild confidence after the 5-0 thrashing they endured at Celtic Park on Sunday and then he must earn the backing of many Dark Blue fans who regarded his appointment as controversial.
The small matter of a Scottish Cup quarter-final against city rivals United this weekend is not even on his radar yet, it would seem, and looking ahead to tonight’s match, Brown claims he saw enough in the against the defending champions to offer hope for perhaps, just perhaps, an escape from the relegation trapdoor.
“All the players have got to show that commitment and showed that against Celtic,” he said. “The effort the players put in against Celtic under the circumstances of the last week was remarkable.
“We haven’t scored many goals this season but we created one or two chances and we have to create more.”
“We’ve got 11 games and we’re going to have a go. I can guarantee you that. Everybody’s got their livelihoods [at stake] and mortgages to pay.”
St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas, meanwhile, is happy for his side to play second fiddle to Dundee’s new man in charge.
Lomas is looking for his team, fresh from a 1-0 win over St Mirren at the weekend, to keep pressure on second-placed Inverness, whom they trail by just one point.
“We have got to be professional, prepare ourselves right and stick to our game plan,” he said. “We know that Dundee will probably get a lift, teams normally do in those circumstances. When a new manager takes over you normally see that in his first game.”