Gary Locke has praised the commitment shown by his side in Saturday's 2-0 defeat to champions Celtic.
The Jambos matched their opponents for large periods of the game, even after Leigh Griffiths put the league leaders ahead early in the second half. Substitute Teemu Pukki sealed the win for the visitors in the dying seconds, but Locke was none the less pleased with his side's effort.
Speaking at full time, Gary said: "There were alot of positives today. If you look at the last time Celtic came here it was a no-contest, but the players are improving all the time and today we've more than matched the best team in the country.
"I thought we put them under pressure, particularly in the second half, and I've said to the players that they can be really proud of that display. One of the things they've had to do this season is take on board the mistakes they've made and improve as footballers, and we've seen that in abundance today.
"One thing you can't question with this group of players is their spirit and commitment to the cause. They all want to be here and are playing like they want to be here, and for a manager that is a great thing."
The gaffer was also boosted by the return of midfielder Jason Holt, who enjoyed a ten minute run-out following a three month injury lay-off.
"It was a difficult game for him to come into, but we need to have everybody fit so it was good to get him some minutes on the pitch. Hopefully he can be invovled between now and the end of the season," said Locke.