James McPake has backed his players to repeat the amount of effort put in against Aberdeen as they return to league duties this weekend.
The Dark Blues face Inverness Caley Thistle at Dens Park this Saturday aiming to continue their unbeaten start in the Championship.
They did suffer their first defeat of the campaign on Sunday as the Dons came away with a 2-1 extra-time victory in the Betfred Cup.
McPake’s side, though, took plenty of plaudits for their performance in the 90 minutes with their one-goal lead only equalled in stoppage time by the Premiership outfit.
The Dens boss might have been frustrated with the result but not the application from his men – something they’ll need to show again in the tough league games coming up.
McPake said: “We’ll analyse it and see where we can be better but I thought my players were excellent in terms of everything and I think a second goal would have been enough because I think we were that dominant in the game.
“That would have allowed us to control the game a bit better by keeping the ball a bit better.
“We were a little more direct than what we have been but it worked.”
The Dens gaffer revealed some of his players were running on empty as the clock ticked down, forcing him into substitutions late in the game.
“There were crucial parts in the game,” he added.
“Having to take Jamie Ness off because he just blew up – credit to him, he’s just come back and you could see why I was so desperate to sign him. I had to take Josh Todd off for the exact same reason, he blew up too.
“That’s football, they gave me everything and that’s all I ask.
“That’s all the supporters ask, that their team give them everything and, to a man, they did that.”
Meanhwile, Dundee’s Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup match with Elgin at Dens Park has been moved to Sunday, September 8.
Dundee United were also drawn at home in the competition, against Arbroath.
Both teams cannot play at home on the same day so a coin toss was required.
The result of that will see United play on Saturday September 7.