Dundee manager Paul Hartley praises players after opening draw

Dundee players celebrating
Dundee led through a Harkins penalty before Killie levelled

Dundee manager Paul Hartley was buoyed by his players' Premiership debut after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Kilmarnock.

The Dee went ahead through a Gary Harkins penalty and, after Craig Slater's leveller, were unlucky not to come away with all three points.

"Both teams tried to win and play in the right manner," Hartley told BBC Radio Scotland.

"We're a great addition to the league. I was delighted with our performance."

The Dens Park boss added: "It was a joy to watch, but we just couldn't get that goal. We're off the mark and I'm really pleased and proud of the guys.

"I think [our goal] was a penalty, and then Gary tucked it away well.

"Their free-kick that they scored from could've been avoided because we dived into a challenge.

"We'll look at the video on Monday and see where we went wrong but I thought the second half was great. It was end-to-end and we created all the chances.

"We kept going to the end; we threw the strikers on and were trying to win it - there was good intensity and the players will learn."

The hosts were backed by an impressive crowd for their first outing since returning to the top flight and Hartley, while being under no illusions about the task they face in the season ahead, is confident his charges can hold their own.

"We've got a terrific fan base," he added. "We just need to put the product out well on the pitch. If we can keep playing like that I'm sure there'll be many more to come back.

"There's no easy game, we understand that. We've come into a better league with better players and if you make mistakes you get punished, but overall I'm pleased with the efforts and we roll on to Wednesday now [against Invereness]."