The performances of Aberdeen's summer recruits in their goalless draw with St Johnstone has given manager Craig Brown grounds for optimism.
The Dons dominated their Scottish Premier League season opener at Pittodrie but they could not score.
"Most of our players did very well and the new lads looked assured," he said.
"[Youl] Mawene played well and so did [Isaac] Osbourne and the fans saw the presence of [Kari] Arnason coming in to midfield, who looks to be a class act."
However, the former Scotland boss felt unable to pass comment on Colombian goalkeeper David Gonzalez who was untested in a match played in blustery conditions.
"We don't know what David Gonzalez can do because he has not had anything to do yet," he told BBC Scotland.
"I think we can compete and we have a bit of pace about us too.
"Ricky Foster was outstanding and very well supported by the fans and I thank them for that.
"He got the man of the match award and I think he thoroughly deserved it.
"We are optimistic about the future but disappointed not to get the three points."
Brown had some sympathetic words for 19-year-old Ryan Jack who was sent off for a late to tackle on Saints midfielder Murray Davidson.
"It wasn't malicious but his studs were up so, according to the letter of the law, it was an ordering off," lamented Brown.
"I am disappointed for Ryan because he is not that kind of player; he has never committed a foul in his life."