Tam Courts believes everyone at Dundee United should be “proud and pleased” after the club secured a top-six cinch Premiership finish.
The Tangerines’ head coach had hoped his team would seal their place with a win in Saturday’s derby.
The signs had looked promising as United established a two-goal lead through Nicky Clark and Charlie Mulgrew but the home side were left stunned thanks to a quick-fire response around the hour mark from the Dark Blues’ Danny Mullen and Charlie Adam, with both sides having to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw.
However, looking at the bigger picture, Courts was still delighted overall with what his team have achieved so far this season and is now determined to consolidate their place in fourth to secure European football for the club.
The 40-year-old said: “When you split your thinking, we have to be proud and pleased as it has been a tough campaign with so many teams fighting for the same thing.
“We’ve had to endure so many injuries and challenges and it is a big moment for the football club that we are in the top six.
“It is only right now that we are holding fourth position that we chase that down and get European football.
“We came into the derby knowing it was very difficult for us to miss out on the top six and that allowed us to concentrate on the game.
“We were 2-0 up and expecting to press home that advantage but it was disappointing.
“When the dust settles it is still a great achievement to make the top six and to be sitting in fourth.”
Meanwhile, Dundee boss Mark McGhee lavished praise on veteran skipper Adam for his swerving long-range goal as well as his overall contribution as the bottom-of-the-table Dark Blues bid to escape automatic relegation.
McGhee said: “I wasn’t sure if Charlie’s goal hit someone on the way in because it moved so much.
“We need Charlie out there, he’s a huge influence and a presence.
“He’s a player other teams worry about and we need as many of them as we can get.
“He plays on the edge, you need that – that’s what I want.”
Dundee’s draw narrowed the gap on second bottom St Johnstone to five points with the Tayside rivals still to play one another post split.
McGhee added: “We know we have to beat St Johnstone when we play them and win one more game than them, but it is only one more game and before today it was more than that.
“So it could be a really valuable point.”