The new season is still a wee bit away but the signs are looking good for Dundee if the actions of boss James McPake are anything to go by.
The Dark Blues manager is leading by example off the pitch right now and I can’t commend him highly enough for that.
Not only have the additions of Lee Ashcroft, Danny Mullen and Alex Jakubiak been shrewd, he is endearing himself further to a support that already had a great deal of admiration for him after his time as a player.
The importance of that can’t be underestimated.
Doing things like signing up to become a paid-up member of the 1893 Foundation, assisting in fan fundraising efforts and, generally, acting as the face of the club in the testing coronavirus times, is vital in fostering a sense of togetherness at the club.
When ownership is distant, like Tim Keyes and John Nelms can be, that community feeling is often difficult to achieve but credit to the club of late for finding it again.
In tough times, Dundee had always been a club that comes together and they’re doing it again.
And the Dee’s American chiefs know they need all the help they can get in testing financial circumstances.
They’ll be delighted to have a man like McPake at the helm – a young gaffer, granted, but one who is picking up more and more experience and gravitas by the day.
They, and the Dark Blues support, will hope he can transfer that on to the park when the action gets under way in October.
That journey will begin with the Betfred Cup group stages, starting on October 6, and will provide some excellent, competitive warm-up tests for the Dens Park men.
Current Premiership leaders Hibs will be a formidable foe, League One Forfar are no mugs and ambitious clubs like Cove Rangers and Brora Rangers will be viewing the Dark Blues, rightly, as a massive scalp for the taking.
All being well they should be ready to hit the ground running for the Championship’s big kick-off on October 17.
For me, Dundee still look a little bit behind Robbie Neilson’s Hearts. However, they also look light years ahead of the rest of the division.
Finishing close behind the Jambos in second would be a good season for the Dee, albeit the play-offs are not the ideal route up.
However, with McPake at the wheel, there’s no reason why they can’t will themselves on to glory, gazump old foe Neilson and come good on this earliest of promise . . .
Despite Tuesday night’s defeat to Hibs, Dundee United have made an encouraging start to life in the Premiership.
Given boss Micky Mellon is a little over a month in the door at Tannadice, he appears to have his troops prepared for the rigours of top-flight football.
That is, of course, in part down to the fact the core of his side is made up of last term’s Championship title winners. However, the job he has done so far can’t simply be reduced to that.
Mellon has already earned an impressive win on the road at established top-six side Motherwell, but for a wonder goal may have taken all three points from St Johnstone and can feel unlucky not to have got something against the Hibees.
Results aside, Mellon has made some subtle and effective tweaks. His 3-5-2 formation seems to suit the personnel he has at his disposal.
It’s freed up Ian Harkes to shine in a more attacking role, makes best use of Jamie Robson and Liam Smith and gives the team balance.
In-form Ross County will be tough today but I wouldn’t bet against United taking all the points.
Besides European football, the Scottish Premiership is one of few leagues on the go right now – and we’re blowing our big chance to shine.
With the Premier League and others across Europe out of action to focus on Champions League and Europa League commitments, all eyes are on us – and it’s not looking pretty.
Aberdeen and Celtic players have made our supposedly professional set-up look amateurish with their conduct.
With only one team making the quarter finals of the Champions League, is English football on the wane in Europe? This year’s winner will come from the continent, no doubt, but I fancy Man City to make the semis.