I can see James McPake’s frustration that Dundee didn’t win on Friday night but the 1-1 draw at Tannadice showed exactly why Dundee United are where they are.
The Dark Blues probably were the better team in the end and they’ll take plenty of positives out of it but it was a good result for the Tangerines, too.
I agree with manager Robbie Neilson saying his side didn’t play as well as they could have.
For some reason, they looked a bit anxious and nervy in the second half which is completely unlike them.
United had done so well in the previous derbies and been so assured it was a surprise to see them just lump the ball forward as the game wore on.
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However, the sign of a title-winning team is they can still take a point despite not playing well against one of the better sides in the division.
And they even extended their lead at the top as, once more, the other sides failed to take advantage of United dropping points.
For James and his side, they were far better than previous derby showings, that much is obvious.
It was a step forward for them and will give their fans a positive jolt heading into the new year.
I still think they have problems creating chances.
They had lots of good play in the second half but still can’t convert that into clear-cut opportunities.
Look at the stats and, though Dundee about edged the game for me, United still had more shots on goal.
I do think the way the Dens gaffer has set up his team recently suits them better and that showed on Friday night.
There’s more balance in the midfield with Fin Robertson and Graham Dorrans taking turns to control things in the middle.
It’s taken a while, which is understandable given the big changes in the summer, but James is starting to find a good formation and his best starting XI.
These things always take time but it seems like the Dee are getting there.
The key is they kick on from here.
For United, it’s about ticking over and keeping themselves well clear of any trouble at the top.
Sounds like there were a fair few interested parties at the derby, no doubt taking a look at Lawrence Shankland after his goalscoring exploits this season.
It wouldn’t surprise me if those English clubs were keeping an eye on Robertson and Dorrans either, the way those two are performing.