James McPake admits he was tempted to throw on substitutes after only 15 minutes of a dreadful first half on Friday night.
The Dark Blues began their return to the Championship with a point at Dunfermline after coming from two goals behind with a penalty brace from striker Danny Johnson.
Had the Pars been more clinical, however, they could have been three or four up before referee Greg Aitken pointed to the spot seconds before the break to give James McPake’s side an unexpected lifeline.
The Dens gaffer said: “I could have made subs after 15 minutes but we got to half-time and were back in the game, which helped.
“I thought the subs made an impact, to be fair. Declan McDaid brought a real pace to our side and Josh Todd is a good footballer who helped us get up the pitch and kept us up there at times.
“It was night and day in the second half.”
As much as he was disappointed by the very poor opening to the game, McPake was happy with the reaction of his side in the second period.
However, he was adamant the Dark Blues shouldn’t be in that kind of position in the first place.
McPake said: “We know this league and we are going to be down in games and have large spells of trouble in games.
“Friday was one of them.
“You always need a bit of fight and I know we have it. I built most of that team and I know they have that but it shouldn’t need that in a game.
“That’s the disappointing side. I was pleased with the reaction in the second half. They came out and had a real go.
“When you look at it as a whole, there wasn’t much in the game and we had large spells of that second half but the first 45 minutes were really poor – as poor as I’ve seen us, on the ball and as a unit, we looked disjointed at times.
“I’m happy with the point in the end.
“I said before the game that whatever happens, I was looking for a performance.
“We never got that in the first 45 but we got a point out of a game that, for large periods in the first half, it didn’t look like we’d get anything other than a doing.
“I’m pleased with the reaction in the second half but it shouldn’t take that.”
When asked what he said to his players at half-time, McPake replied: “Nothing that wasn’t true.”