Dundee are into the knockout stages of the Premier Sports Cup – and seeded, no less, after easing past League Two Forfar Athletic.
The 5-2 home win made kept up their 100% record for the season and saw their goal tally rise to 11 in just three matches.
The record books will also show a 3-0 win at Ross County after the Staggies forfeited the match due to Covid concerns.
The Dark Blues had concerns of their own regarding the virus this week after a positive case led to serious confusion prior to the Loons clash.
It was a day unlike any other at Dens Park with one player out with Covid and a further five isolating.
But what did we learn?
There are tests of squad depth and then there’s this game.
Not only was the matchday squad stretched almost to its limit but two players also went off injured.
Liam Fontaine and Charlie Adam had to be replaced in the first half, leaving the Dee short of even more bodies.
Despite that, the result on Saturday was never in doubt with a commanding display against the Loons.
Considering Dundee had seven first-team players missing due to injury or Covid-related absence, it was a remarkable showing.
It may have been against League Two opposition but a quick look at the bench showed the breadth of talent at McPake’s disposal.
Despite so many missing, among the substitutes were still Premiership veteran Paul McGowan, Irish international Cillian Sheridan and senior players Declan McDaid and Ian Lawlor.
Saturday’s five strikes made it 11 scored in just three games. Even more impressive is how the goals have been spread out with eight different scorers.
Only Jason Cummings has notched in more than a single match so far.
– 12 points
– 11 goals
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) July 25, 2021
The Scotland cap has three while Paul McMullan is on two with a further six men on a goal already before the league has even started.
Chances have been aplenty in the opening games and building that goalscoring confidence throughout the squad could be vital when the Premiership gets under way.
Midfielder Anderson’s inexperience may see him start the league campaign as a substitute.
However, it would be no surprise to see the 20-year-old force his way into James McPake’s starting XI.
The Dens boss singled the youngster out for special praise following Saturday’s victory, saying: “Max Anderson was outstanding. He ran 13km in that game, in that heat, it’s unbelievable.”
Box-to-box running, impeccable close control and a sense of timing when arriving into the box, Anderson grows as a player with every showing.
Premiership football will be a step up after just one full season in a lower division.
However, the youngster has taken life in the first team in his stride, much like he takes the ball in midfield.
He could be Dundee’s surprise package in the top-flight this season.