Dundee United boss Micky Mellon is the first to admit their displays haven’t been good enough lately and, importantly, you feel he’s the man to turn it around.
Yes, performances in their Betfred Cup group were poor – particularly the shocking 1-0 defeat by Peterhead – and they have endured an inconsistent period of form in the league.
However, let’s not be hitting the panic button just yet.
Mellon was the apple of the Dundee United supporters’ collective eye over the summer upon his arrival as he led them soaring up the league, playing an aggressive brand of football and giving new life to players who were on the fringes under Robbie Neilson.
However, if you go by what you read on social media by some now, do so at your peril by the way, you’d be forgiven for believing the Terrors are in the midst of some sort of crisis.
In fact, for me, it’s quite the opposite.
What the Tangerines have within their grasp is opportunity.
An opportunity to push on in the cup and chase down the silverware ambitiously targeted over the summer by the club.
An opportunity to push into the top six upon their first campaign back in the top flight for four years.
And it all starts today, as Aberdeen come to Tannadice, with an opportunity to take a big step on that road.
It will be an immensely tough challenge for United, facing a Dons side with a 100% away record – doing so without conceding a goal in the three games.
Though, strengthened by the return of Lawrence Shankland and Logan Chalmers from international duty and a potential debut for Scotland striker Marc McNulty, we’ll hopefully see a different side from the one which has toiled recently.
Make no mistake, the Dons are in a different league, a mini league with Hibs in fact, from the Tangerines right now but I don’t believe that they are miles off.
What the Terrors must focus on is taking something, in a New Firm derby after all, on home soil and pushing on in their own little section.
Level on points with Kilmarnock and Livingston above and Ross County below, battling it out in mid-table is likely how United’s season will continue.
And that’s quite all right.
It’s easy to forget they are a newly-promoted team, after all, with a squad of players, largely, lacking much top-flight experience.
But that will come, they will improve and it still looks like it’s going to be a bright season ahead.
The visit of the Dandies today marks the completion of the first round of fixtures in the Premiership. It’s really still that early.
If, and yes it’s quite a big if, United can repeat their form for the next three quarters, they will be just fine.
In fact, one result could just define their season. What better one than a derby win?
Much of the early season focus over the road was on the performances of Dundee United’s young stars but, whisper it quietly, the Dundee kids are all right, too.
I must admit, I was worried about the youth set-up at Dens Park after the coronavirus shutdown put the squeeze on the club’s finances as they scaled back academy operations.
However, the performances of their kids in pre-season friendlies and the early Betfred Cup games has given me cause for optimism.
Boss James McPake is a great believer in youth – see Fin Robertson – and won’t be scared to throw in talented youngsters when the occasion calls for it.
Some, notably midfield man Max Anderson, look ready to make a first-team impact and, I believe he will be first in the queue to get chances.
Calum Ferrie is good enough to push Jack Hamilton for the No 1 jersey while, depending how they perform while on loan, Lyall Cameron, Josh Mulligan and Sam Fisher could come into the picture later in the season.
The farming out of midfielder Mulligan to Peterhead was a strange one for me, however, as I really thought he’d kick on this term.
The Dark Blues are crying out for some more width in their ranks to complement Declan McDaid and Christie Elliot and the promising 17-year-old fit the bill.
Steve Clarke is doing exactly what he promised as Scotland manager – we’re hard to beat and players of every ilk are getting chances.
Not only are in-form men such as Declan Gallagher and Lyndon Dykes taking their opportunities but auld yins like Andy Considine have slotted in seamlessly.
Serbia await in a massive Euro 2020 play-off final next month and we’re sitting top of our Nations League group after wins over Slovakia and Czech Republic.
What next? Well, maybe caps for some local veterans after Clarke’s rallying cry – Charlie Adam? Mark Reynolds? ‘Be ready’.