Dundee boss James McPake insists he is delighted his side were able to bounce back from a couple of poor performances to progress to the Betfred Cup last 16 with a win over Inverness.
After starting their Group D campaign well with a 3-0 win at Raith Rovers, the Dark Blues laboured to 0-0 draws and bonus point penalty shootout wins over lower league Cove Rangers and Peterhead.
Yesterday’s 1-0 victory against Caley at Dens Park, courtesy of Danny Johnson’s debut goal, secured a meeting with Aberdeen in the next round.
And Dee manager James singled out his defence for special praise.
“You get doubts, I think last week we were poor against Peterhead and, as a group, I think the players noticed that as well,” he said.
“We had to address it and I think the reaction was good.
“I asked the staff after the warm-up yesterday and they said it was completely different.
“We need to get in a habit of being like that all the time because we’re going to have down days.
“What we’ve got is a base that, even on our bad days, we have a chance in games.
“We’ve proved that in any game we’ve played this season that, I know it’s only four games in but we look like we’ll always be in games.
“I thought our defence was great yesterday and that’s not just the three centre-backs, I thought as a team the way we defended was good.
“We knew what Inverness would bring, they’re a good side.
“They put balls into the box and they’ve got some big men that go and attack it. Not many teams keep a clean sheet against them so that’s a massive delight for us as a team.
“There’s plenty work left to be done but we’re happy where we are.”
As important as cup progress to face the Dons for Dundee is, Friday night’s Championship curtain-raiser at Dunfermline is taking paramount importance for now.
And James insists the game at East End Park is their full focus.
“Just happy to be at home,” he added.
“It’s a good one. I’ve played in a cup-tie out there against Aberdeen.
“There’ll be a big crowd. There was that day, they’ll bring a big crowd down and we’ll have a big crowd.
“That’s on the back burner now because we’ve got more important things to think about, starting Friday night.
“The reaction has been great and we’ve got a home tie in the next round.
“We want to concentrate on the league now.”