James McPake was left frustrated after Dundee’s goalless derby draw against Dundee United which left the Dark Blues bottom of the cinch Premiership.
The two Tayside clubs put in a big effort with substitute Zak Rudden coming close on a couple of occasions on his debut and United striker Nicky Clark missing a terrific chance to win it for the visitors late in the game.
However, with St Johnstone beating Livingston 2-1 away, the Dark Blues are now behind the Perth side on goal difference.
McPake said: “There was a lot of fight at times. Both teams gave a good account and battled.
“We’re disappointed we couldn’t get that quality or final ball because we got into some great areas.
“They’ll be disappointed with Nicky’s chance but credit goes to (Ryan) Sweeney as he made it really hard.
“We’re lacking that wee bit at the top end but as a unit we’re looking more solid.
“On the basis of chances created Dundee United will argue Nicky’s chance was a big one but Zak’s disappointed he didn’t score.
“It looked a great save from (Paul) McMullan’s header too and we put some fantastic deliveries in.
“We were very wasteful at times at the top end but it’s hard to criticise them. We need to get it right at the top end of the pitch and I believe we will.
“We had to use the break to get us defensively sound and that’s three clean sheets in a row which was a priority because we were conceding too many chances.
“We were that wee bit better and with the chances we created we should have won.”
On Leigh Griffiths, McPake confirmed before the game that the on-loan Celtic striker’s time at the club “officially ended today” but afterwards revealed talks are “ongoing” in regards to his future at Dens Park.
United boss Tam Courts also nursed a sense of frustration after Clark’s late miss.
He said: “It was chaotic and frenzied like a lot of derbies. In the first 45 minutes I felt frustrated considering it was chaotic for prolonged periods and the way we committed to the game didn’t suit us.
“The latter part of the game showed us using the ball better and engineering quality opportunities.
“I’m pleased with the clean sheet, the attitude and condition considering we played on Saturday and they didn’t and they’re fighting for their lives.
“I would like us to have got the ball down and been braver in possession.
“Nicky has got a big mentality and he’s experienced. His first touch was excellent, the defender made a big recovery tackle but I expected to see the ball bulging in the net.
“That would have changed the way I’m speaking. It was battling from us but I wanted to see more quality and bravery to attack Dundee on the wings but we couldn’t get consistency to our attacking play.”