Malky Mackay is striving for Ross County’s perfect balance between attack and defence.
A lack of clinical edge in front of goal, however, saw them fail to take all three points from Dens Park – although James Brown’s close-range effort was dubiously ruled out for offside.
Mackay is wary of placing too heavy a stock on either attacking or defending, insisting both components must be spot on in order to find the winning formula.
He said: “The balance is what all managers have to try and strive for.
“I remember talking to Ian Holloway a long time ago, about when Blackpool went into the Premier League a long time ago for the first time.
“They were incredibly adventurous and exciting. They were losing games 5-4, because they were playing against really good teams who could catch them on the break better than they could flood forward.
“The conversation was actually after his time at Blackpool, when he went to Crystal Palace.
“He then tried to rethink about how they stayed in the Premier League. It was about being more conservative, but they got to a point where they couldn’t score a goal.
“This was his dilemma – but we are all the same.
“You go through a wee period when you are losing too many goals, and you need to be tighter, but then you can’t score a goal. It’s about that balance.”
Solid foundations breed confidence for Staggies
Mackay is eager to build on the strong defensive foundations shown against Dundee, with the clean sheet helping County end a run of three straight losses.
He added: “In the early part of last year. we were conceding too many goals.
“We tightened it up as the season went on, and certainly managed to score more goals.
“If you keep a clean sheet, you just need the one chance. That breeds confidence as well, with defences and goalkeepers and as a team, that you can go to places and it can be tight, and you can make sure you defend well.
“Other than those silly individual errors, your team is strong.
“We needed that. We came off the back of a game at Pittodrie where we let ourselves down (4-0 league loss).
“There are a handful of games in three years that we have really not been at the races in the game. There are a couple last year that I remember distinctly – but it was two.
“You’ve got to try and be as consistent as you can. I’m delighted the boys were resilient.
“I said to them that there was a time before when we would have lost that game on Tuesday, but we didn’t.”
‘Final thing needs to be best thing’
Mackay believes it is only a clinical edge in final decision making which is preventing them from hitting the goal trail, with the Dingwall side having not netted in their last three league outings.
The Staggies boss, whose side travel to Motherwell on Saturday, added: “In the final third, I talk to them about the last thing they do being the best thing they do.
“It’s the clinical bit that changes things. In that final third – it’s that decision you make.
“That’s more about where we are at the moment.
“When you look at the Hearts game, the Aberdeen game and the Dundee game – we are creating good chances and we are not taking the chances we maybe took against Kilmarnock, St Johnstone and Celtic.”