James McPake hailed his battling Dundee side as “outstanding to a man” after twice coming from behind at home to St Mirren.
The Dark Blues had to play the final 21 minutes with 10 men following Max Anderson’s red card after a week of disrupted preparation.
The Dens Park boss was also highly critical of referee Craig Napier’s performance after the Buddies went 2-1 in front following a debatable penalty decision.
Ahead of the club’s return to top-flight football, McPake revealed training had been severely impacted by the positive Covid case returned by one of his squad.
Five first-teamers had to self-isolate and the Dens boss revealed none of those trained before the Buddies clash.
“I’m extremely proud of my players after a really challenging week,” he said.
“We had 10 out altogether last week. Two players of those didn’t train all week but played.
“Then another came on in the game that didn’t train all week and did really well.
“It was a really challenging week for the club but I’m really proud of the way my players handled that.
“To a man they were outstanding.
“The whole team showed a great mentality.”
McPake, though, was less complimentary about the performance of referee Napier following his decision to award a second-half penalty for a challenge by Cummings on Jay Henderson.
The Dundee boss was also booked, along with assistant manager Dave Mackay, during the second half.
“It wasn’t a penalty,” McPake said.
“I think the referee today wasn’t great and neither was the fourth official. I don’t want to bash referees and I give them credit when credit is due.
“But those fans were robbed of a win with that penalty.
“You could see the reaction at the time, my players knew it wasn’t a penalty and the St Mirren player knew it’s not a penalty.”
The Dens boss also backed youngster Anderson after he was shown a straight red card on 69 minutes for a tackle on Eamonn Brophy as St Mirren broke on a counter-attack.
The 20-year-old is now facing a two-match ban.
“I don’t know the rule, if I’m honest. I don’t know what he has given it for,” McPake said.
“He’s a young kid, so I’ll back him all the way. Thankfully the boy (Brophy) isn’t hurt.
“I’ve had Max since he was 14 and you get these kids coming through and it’s all nicey nicey. They need to know when there’s a time to stop the game.
“Maybe Max was too eager to do that.”
McPake added: “It’s not a penalty and it’s cost us three points but let’s not take that away from the week we’ve had.
“I don’t want the talking points to be a penalty and a red card as I had 14 players who to a man were outstanding.
“Five of them haven’t trained properly all week so for them to go out and play against a good side who have a good manager and show resilience is great.
“It’s only two defeats in eighteen games and we want to continue that.
“Let’s not make it the referee show as I don’t think he deserves it. I don’t think he’s as good enough a referee to have the referee show.
“I believe it’s his 11th or 12th Premiership game and I thought we would see a difference in the Premiership but we didn’t.”
The Dark Blues received good news on Danny Mullen’s injury after he was stretchered off in the first half.
He went to hospital with a suspected broken ankle but x-rays showed no break to the bone.