Hands up – I had my doubts about the noises coming out of Tannadice before the season kicked off.
Sporting director Tony Asghar, former boss Robbie Neilson, current gaffer Micky Mellon and copious other tangerine figures set their stall out with lofty ambitions.
From the seemingly achievable aim of top-six football that the Terrors narrowly missed out on to winning cups and a return to European football – it was quite the manifesto for a newly-promoted side.
Credit to United, though, heading into this afternoon’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Hibs two of those targets are still very much in their sights.
Of course, there is still the not-so-small task of two Hampden showdowns to navigate first, but the Tangerines are certainly walking the walk after their big pre-season talk.
Whether they are able to get to the final and win it to secure guaranteed continental football until Christmas, it’s been a campaign of huge progress down Tannadice way.
Ambitious as he is, Mellon will want to achieve Europa League or Europa Conference League qualification with his troops but the job he has done should be commended regardless.
The former Tranmere boss has successfully turned a Championship team into bona fide contenders for Scottish football’s top honours in less than 12 months – executing the remit laid out to him by the equally-ambitious Asghar.
It’s an exciting time to be an Arab and games like today’s bring it all home.
Sadly, of course, the fans won’t be descending on the national stadium en masse but, watching on at home, I’m sure many will be taking a moment of reflection to think about just how far they’ve come.
In ways it’s been a frustrating season – in no small part due to supporters being locked out of stadiums the length and breadth of Scotland – and at times the football played by United has been far from pleasing on the eye.
However, they are back on the big stage, sampling a small taste of what more is, hopefully, still to come.
Testing themselves against perennial top-half clubs like the Hibees, who go into each season with similar high hopes of adding to their trophy cabinet, is a terrific opportunity for the Terrors.
It’ll be a tough old slog against Jack Ross’ men but there’s absolutely no reason why United can’t get the better of the Leith side in a one-off game with so much at stake for both clubs.
Over the course of these forthcoming, important 90 minutes, small moments will determine the outcome and, potentially, the destination of the old trophy with St Johnstone or St Mirren lying in wait in the final.
With the quality they have in the likes of Lawrence Shankland, Marc McNulty and Nicky Clark – the Tangerines have all the tools required to progress and take another step forward in delivering on what now feels like promises kept.
Speaking to Dundee boss James McPake at Tannadice last weekend, watching Ross County on a scouting mission for a potential Premiership Play-off Final match-up, I was struck by how calm and confident he was.
Of course, with the Dee on their best run of his stewardship – unbeaten in eight league games – and having secured second spot in the Championship, he has every right to be.
However, it hasn’t always been this way in his reign.
At times it has been very difficult, form has been poor and morale worse but, headed into the back end of the campaign, we’ve seen a different Dee.
They’ve timed their run well, ending a match day in second spot, incredibly, for the first time since the start of the 2019-20 season, to grab that crucial runners-up spot from under Raith’s noses.
Whoever they get in the semi-final next week, the Kirkcaldy men or Fife rivals Dunfermline, the Dark Blues should have no fear.
Why? For starters, there is the strong spine.
A back five that picks itself: Legzdins, Elliott, Ashcroft, Fontaine and Marshall.
In midfield, the quality of McMullan, Anderson, Byrne, Adam and McGowan is undoubted and, up top, Jason Cummings is the ideal striker for this kind of football.
Above all, though, McPake is the beating heart that has pulses racing and Dees finally believing this is their time.
From nearly exiting the league system altogether in 2015 to potentially playing in the Championship next season, the Montrose story is a brilliant one for our game.
They saved their League Two skins against Brora Rangers six years ago and, headed into today’s Championship play-off semi-final against Morton, I wouldn’t bet against another Mighty Mo success.
Their ascension to fourth in League One sums up what a mad season it’s been in the SPFL as they pipped Falkirk to the post for the final play-off spot.
What a job Stewart Petrie’s done at Links Park!