Dundee manager James McPake is determined to ensure new signings this summer don’t upset the feelgood factor around Dens Park.
The Dark Blues began pre-season training this week still on a high after winning promotion to the Premiership less than a month ago.
Adding to the buzz around the club was another award for last campaign’s successes as skipper Charlie Adam was named Championship Player of the Season.
Arriving for their first day at their new club were summer captures Luke McCowan and Ryan Sweeney, joined by Paul McMullan in his first session as a permanent Dundee player.
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) June 21, 2021
Also training was Luton Town’s Corey Panter as the club assess the option of a loan deal for the defender.
More new faces are expected between now and the end of August, though manager McPake refused to be drawn on how many additions he wants to make to his squad.
He did, however, make it clear the mentality of transfer targets was just as important as their ability on the ball.
“We have identified where we would like to strengthen and we are working away on that,” he said.
“We look at what type of character they are and don’t want to upset the dressing-room, it’s not just looking at the ability of a player.
“We’ve been building a squad for two years that can compete in the Premiership. We know we need to add because we’re under no illusions how hard the top flight is.
“It’s not just been a case of signing players to get out of the Championship and then completely push them to the side.
“We have players in the squad who have proved they can play against Premiership opposition.
“It will be different week in, week out, but we’ll strengthen with more quality and that’ll help us.”
The entire Dundee squad returned for the first day of pre-season, including 18-year-old Fin Robertson after a long-term ankle injury.
There was excitement with Premiership football to come and manager McPake was delighted to see everyone back in action with no injury problems.
Saturday’s first pre-season match at Forfar Athletic will come less than five weeks after the Dark Blues won their play-off final at Kilmarnock.
“There hasn’t been much of a break but long enough for the players to recharge,” McPake added.
“The most important thing is we are back with a buzz about the place because we are a Premiership club.
“If we hadn’t got promoted, the players would have been low coming back in.
“Apart from a couple, it’s the same group. We have a tight-knit group with a lot of good people there.
“The fans can look forward to some big games coming up and we believe a successful season coming up too.
“There is a feelgood factor about the place. We’re back in the dressing-rooms again now which is massive, still distanced and everything that goes with it, though.
“It was amazing the spirit we somehow managed to generate last season despite not being able to sit in a dressing-room together.
“Last season was great but it’s all forgotten about now, all focus is now on competing in the Premiership.”