That was on the manager, I’m afraid.

Craig Levein is absolutely correct that we played better than we have in recent weeks, and on the balance of play – and certainly chances created – we did not deserve to be on the losing side.

But having finally equalised after giving away a fiasco of an opener what came next was unacceptable. It was clear that some players – Sidibeh in particular – were exhausted while others – Gallagher, Kucheriayvi – weren’t providing the attacking threat we needed to get a win on the board. Tiredness was in general creeping in and with five subs available, fresh legs were a must.

But instead, we waited. Dundee’s winner came from a ricochet that set McCowan away inside the box perfectly, but that was a ricochet that probably wouldn’t have happened had we not been running on empty.

Our first change was on 77 minutes – and didn’t come until Sidibeh went down for the second time. We then waited until the 83rd minute – after Dundee had retaken the lead with a goal that didn’t look like it was coming – to bring on the next players from the bench.
The time for change was 20 minutes earlier. We had been in the ascendancy probably from around the half hour mark, and certainly for the first 15 minutes of the second half we were well on top, applying pressure and penning Dundee in for periods. The equaliser was fully merited and should have been the platform for pushing on and trying to get the three points.

In particular, why Carey sat on the bench until the closing stages will forever be a mystery. He’s never been my favourite player but he’s one of the few who can do something unexpected, and there was a clear issue down our left hand side. We need points on the board. At home against Dundee in front of a big crowd it is incumbent on us to go out and try to win the game.

But we sat on our hands and paid the price.

We now have seven games to go to the end of the season. As it stands we sit a point ahead of Ross County in the playoff places. The time for being reactive has long since past – we now to go out and try to win games by whatever means possible. If we’d taken a risk after the equaliser and pushed on to try and win a game in which we had the upper hand and been sucker punched that would be one thing. To sit off and do nothing and lose due to our own failure to press on is quite another.

On the more positive side though, I felt on the day that Adama Sidibeh’s performance was his best yet and that’s only been reinforced by watching the highlights back.

He’s an all action player – constantly stretching the opposition defence and ensuring they don’t get an easy out ball. But I was really impressed with his hold up play – both taking the ball in and spreading it wide before getting himself into the box and taking the ball in wide areas himself and feeding his team mates.

He set up two glorious chances in the first half – one by winning a flick on against a much bigger defender and the other by dropping into a wide area, taking possession and playing a perfectly weighted pass into Nicky Clark’s feet. Both were glorious chances unfortunately passed up.

In the second half he had one good opportunity well blocked – but then scored one of the best goals we’ve scored in a long time, an absolutely sublime overhead kick. Not a sclaffed effort, not one where he’s falling away from the ball and hooks it over his head. A proper acrobatic, powerful finish that left the keeper with no chance. One thing I did note was that he had initially gone to support the attack down the right – but the second the ball went away from him out there his first thought was to immediately take up a position in a dangerous area – a great quality for a striker.

It was a well-rounded performance and exactly what we’ve been missing for quite some time. I was surprised Sidibeh had been given the nod over Kimpioka – who himself had looked pretty handy once he came in – in recent weeks but he certainly showed why on Saturday.

That form – if he can keep it up – is going to be critical in the run in. We need to create more, and we have to take our chances when they come. The old cliché is that every game in our situation is a cup final. They all feel pretty important now. Unfortunately we run into two difficult games to complete the pre-split fixtures, with a visit to Hibs followed up by Kilmarnock coming to Perth.

A win in either of them would be huge – especially given Ross County face an even more daunting test, with a trip to Rugby Park followed up by Rangers going up the A9 to Dingwall. A buffer over the Staggies before the post-split action starts is much needed.