Manager James McPake expects Dundee to reap the benefits of a fully-fit Graham Dorrans this season as they prepare to embark on a Championship title tilt.
The Dark Blues kick off the shortened 27-game season on Friday night with an enticing away trip to recently-relegated Hearts.
With promotion the target for both sides at Tynecastle, the Dens men will be desperate to put down a marker for the season ahead.
Former West Brom, Norwich and Rangers man Dorrans has been in fine form for the Dee over pre-season and continued that with the opening goal of the campaign up at Brora Rangers in the Betfred Cup.
And McPake expects his former Livingston team-mate to continue to shine in the months ahead with a full pre-season under his belt.
The Dundee boss said: “Credit to Graham, he’s come back in fantastic condition but you don’t get to the level he played at without the attitude of a top player.
“People forget Graham had more than a year out, a couple of surgeries on the issues he had, and missed pre-season with us last season.
“He was playing catch-up but only missed four minutes the entire season last year.
“He trained every day but it does take time to get back to what you feel is yourself.
“He tells me he doesn’t believe he’s back to that but I certainly do, I think we’ll see the benefits of that this season.”
“I don’t think you can forget how good a player Graham Dorrans is.
Dorrans has been joined by another former Scotland and Premier League midfielder with Charlie Adam’s arrival over the summer.
With 38 caps between them, the Dark Blues certainly won’t be lacking in top-level experience.
Asked whether the high-profile arrival of Adam might distract people from the talent of Dorrans, McPake replied: “I don’t think you can forget how good a player Graham Dorrans is.
“Equally Paul McGowan and Charlie, the three most senior players in our squad.
“All three have been great through pre-season along with the back three who have almost played every minute.
“The senior players have been fantastic.”