The Dees and Rangers great has taken over at Dens Park but is remaining positive despite sitting 15 points behind second-placed St Mirren.
'Bomber' has been slated by a number of critics after it was announced he was taking the reins from Barry Smith but he is determined to prove them wrong by pulling off the great escape with the Dark Blues.
"There are a lot of guys out there who have probably been critical about the appointment," he said.
"They probably put their CV in last week and are saying it's the wrong appointment - maybe because they didn't get the opportunity.
"I don't know the reaction from fans because I don't listen to the radio or read papers.
"I've been too long in the game but I've had pals phoning me and saying, 'aye - you thought he was your pal'.
"I didn't want to say to them, 'but he was one of the first who put himself in for the job after singing the previous manager's praises'.
"That's football. There are a lot of guys with a lot of coaching badges that are out of work.
"It's easy for them to have a pop but just wait and see what happens.
"There's a bitterness there. There are things I've done I regret but do you know what - you live with that. You stand up and take one on the chin. I'm here to take one on the chin for Dundee FC.
"I want Dundee to be in the Premier League next year, that's what I'm saying to the players. Nothing's up until it's mathematically impossible.
"There's a 15-point gap and 33 points to play for. Until then, we carry on plus we've got a big derby game coming up too.
"I had very happy memories of my time here against Dundee United. That's a massive game for us but St Johnstone is a big derby too and we're looking to win that game."