James McPake was pleased with his “patient” Dundee side as they continued their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 win at Cove Rangers last night.
The Dark Blues left it late to make the breakthrough against their League One opponents with Paul McGowan heading the winner from trialist Daniel Church’s cross with five minutes remaining.
After six months off, McPake’s men have now played three friendlies with two 1-0 wins and a 2-2 draw to show for their early efforts.
Following that draw at Montrose, the Dens boss was pleased to see his side keep Paul Hartley’s outfit at bay at the Balmoral Stadium with central defenders Jordon Forster and Lee Ashcroft singled out for praise.
McPake told DeeTV: “First and foremost it’s another clean sheet.
“We were disappointed with the goals we lost against Montrose on Saturday. I thought the two centre halves were really good. Defensively as a team we were really good, and we were patient.
“We got a really good goal. I thought it was another good game, plenty challenges, it felt a bit like a real game for stages.
“Another work out for Charlie (Adam) and Jordon Forster. Some really good and positive performances.”
The Dens boss gave Graham Dorrans, Jordan McGhee and Jack Hamilton a rest for the trip to Aberdeen but expects the trio to be fit and firing for the return game this Saturday at Dens Park.
He’s also hoping to be able to have midfielder Shaun Byrne and defender Jordan Marshall available again.
“We left a few players away, they’ll join back up and train Thursday and be involved on Saturday,” McPake said.
“They are getting fitter and sharper. They have been away for a while and maybe we weren’t sure exactly how they would react to the games but a lot of them have played a lot of minutes now so we are really pleased with how it has gone.”
McPake added: “That was a good game, difficult conditions again but I said to them in the dressing-room, ‘that is what we are going to face in this league’.
“Decent pitch, for one of the artificial ones, this is a really good pitch and against a good team.
“That game had a bit of everything in it and we are really pleased.
“A clean sheet and a really good performance and we got through it with, hopefully, not too many niggles.”