Interim manager John Brown praised his 10-man Dundee side following the 2-2 draw at home to St Johnstone.
In his first game in charge, Brown saw Mark Stewart score a late equaliser to cushion the blow of Declan Gallagher's dismissal.
"The players have shown a great spirit since I came in and they kept that going," said Brown.
"I can't criticise the boys one bit for application and some of our football was excellent."
John Baird scored for Dundee to cancel out Steven MacLean's header.
Brown's debut as Dundee boss looked destined to get off to a losing start when Gallagher was shown a straight red card for pulling back MacLean as he bore down on goal.
And Dave Mackay beat Rab Douglas with a superb free-kick. However, the hosts showed tenacity to claw their way back into the game and equalise through substitute Stewart.
Dundee remain rooted to the foot of the table, 15 points behind Hearts and 17 behind St Mirren.
"This result gives us a good platform," Brown said. "I've come here to assess all of the players from here until the end of the season and hopefully put my hat in the ring with all the other applications to get the job.
"I just said to the players that, with the gap, just go for it as there's nothing to lose."
Brown's appointment had been criticised in some quarters but he was happy with his first game in charge.
"It's the guys on the park not the guy in the dugout," he added. "It's their attitude and application; that's the reason the fans are happy and you could hear it at the end."