Like many other title challengers in Scotland’s second-tier in recent years, Dundee United have now had their first of what may be a few bumps in the road this season.
The Championship can be unforgiving and is often dubbed Scotland’s toughest division.
Eventual-champions in seasons in the not-so-distant past like Rangers, Hibs and St Mirren have toiled on their road back to the Premiership.
Even last term’s winners Ross County had to fight off the likes of United and Inverness going into the final few matches of 2018/19.
However, United must take heart that, despite a few challenges along the way, all those teams eventually prevailed.
For now, Tangerines boss Robbie Neilson is labelling their 2-0 defeat at Ayr United last weekend a ‘blip’.
And, on the face of it right now, he is correct in that assessment as the Terrors remain top of the pile alongside the Honest Men.
However, what the Terrors must be a wary of is that little blip getting bigger and bigger and, much like a little bump in a tyre, bursting.
And another punctured attempt at promotion is not what United need after three failed efforts.
A win over Arbroath today would jump-start their campaign.
On the other hand, defeat at Tannadice could see United fall off the Championships summit and leave them chasing others.
What’s different this time to seasons gone by is they have time and ample resources on their side.
The Terrors never kicked into gear at Somerset Park last time out and maybe a change of tack is something Robbie will be considering – across all areas of the pitch.
It has been much-documented that United are short at the back. With only Mark Reynolds a stick-on starter, there are big decisions to be made over the fitness of new boy Troy Brown or whether to opt for Paul Watson or midfielder Calum Butcher against the Red Lichties.
Going for the latter in central defence would likely see Ian Harkes come into the midfield.
And the American’s inclusion would be a welcome one, in my opinion.
His impact in the derby win over Dundee was clear, not only with his goal but overall play.
Up top, Louis Appere has impressed but when Nicky Clark came on at Ayr he looked lively and is a proven scorer at this level.
Much to ponder as United look to remove the spoke from their wheel and get back on the title charge.