James McPake says his players have passed another stern test in their preparations for the new season.
However, he insists the hard work is far from over in the Spanish heat.
The Dens gaffer has led his new side on a gruelling pre-season trip to the Murcia region in Spain, on the Mediterranean coast.
Temperatures at the weekend reached the high 30s celsius and last night they kicked off their first match of the trip against Nottingham Forest at around 27C.
A strong performance from his entire squad saw the Dark Blues draw 0-0 with English Championship side Forest at the Pinatar Arena.
And the Dens boss was pleased to see his players put some of their training into practice.
He said: “It is pre-season but the application, the willingness to work and to do what we’ve been asking them to do in training was there for everybody to see.
“Nottingham Forest started two days after us – sometimes you’ll play English sides and they are way behind you for fitness but that wasn’t the case last night.
“I thought we controlled large parts of the game and as a team we were really effective on the ball, off the ball and transitions between were really good.
“The good thing for me is Monday was the most difficult day in terms of the work we have done. It was really tough and it was a test for them going into this game but now they have the belief in what we are doing.
“We are pleased but we are still working.”
A hardy band of Dark Blues supporters made the long trip to the south of Spain to see their side in action.
McPake, however, wasn’t surprised to see them.
He added: “The fans are brilliant and we need them to be behind us. They have a right not to be behind us because of what happened last season and it’s up to us to build that bridge again.
“I think yesterday they would have been proud of the performance and it was great for them to come over, hopefully, they enjoyed their night but I’m not surprised some of them did come over.
“I know how much they follow this club and get behind us.
“I’m delighted for them they got to see a decent performance in a decent game against decent opposition.”
It has been confirmed defender Andrew Davies has missed the trip due to a personal matter.