With so many changes to the squad taking place over the summer, experienced defender William Edjenguele knows it was always going to take new-look Dundee United time to gel.
However, the experience the 31-year-old has amassed over his career and, in particular, of life in the Championship over the past two seasons with the Tangerines, tells him they better find a way to do it quickly.
Like every other United player, the big Frenchman was gutted by Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Dunfermline in their league opener.
It goes without saying that loss was not what the incumbents of the Tannadice dressing-room wanted or expected.
“It was the first game of the season and at home, so you want to start well and that’s what we didn’t do,” he said.
“In the first half we didn’t play particularly well but we managed to get the first goal and it looked the kind of game where the team who got it would be the winner.
“And I thought in the first half, while we were not playing that well, neither team was. However, we were showing togetherness and real fight.
“Second half there were a few mistakes and that cost us the game.
“We were a bit unlucky as well because there was a handball in the move for their second goal and it should have been a foul for us.
“You can’t use that as an excuse because he (the referee) did not give it and you have to defend the situation.”
Neither will Edjenguele use the vast changes to the squad over the summer to deflect from what fans had a right to expect to be a much better start.
The weekend saw nine men in tangerine making their league debuts for the club.
That meant only two of the team that beat the Pars over two legs in the promotion play-off quarter-final just last May, were involved in the United starting line-up.
Having been at eight clubs in his 13-year senior career, he knows better than most that any new group needs time to get to know each other and that’s definitely the case at Tannadice where he’s never seen so many comings and goings in such a short period.
He’s well aware, however, that, while that process could take two or three months, it cannot be at the expense of results.
“Definitely it will take time. I don’t even know how many players exactly came in but it was a lot.
“There were a lot of changes, so we definitely need some time to gel together.
“And I should say I do respect Dunfermline. They are a good side, especially going forward, and they have some decent players. So if you don’t play well they can beat you.
“At home you expect us to do a bit better than that. Everybody is disappointed but we have to go again.
“It was a hard day but we have to make sure we are better right away because the one thing that you find out is the season goes by fast and we have to be ready to go quickly.
“We have to play better, starting with the next game. It’s as simple as that.”
After the struggles of the Betfred Cup group that saw United come out on top in just one of their four ties and even then only after they already knew they were out of the competition, it’s fair to say many supporters feared the worst going into the Dunfermline clash.
Edjenguele, though, insists the players had been in confident mood.
The feeling was they were coming together as a team and would be ready for the opening 90 minutes of league action. That, of course, only made defeat more painful.
“Some of the results in the cup were not good until the Elgin game,” he said.
“We were making progress and things were moving in the right direction, so this was a real setback.
“Like I say, now we must work to make sure we are ready this week.”