Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson believes whoever gets on the front foot in Friday night’s Dundee derby has the best chance of taking all three points.
Speaking after his side’s 2-0 win at Dunfermline on Saturday, thanks to a first-half Lawrence Shankland brace, United gaffer Robbie insisted the form guide will go out the window for his unbeaten team.
The Tangerines go into the Tannadice clash with a 100% winning record after their first three Championship matches and Robbie believes getting the first goal against Dundee could make that four.
“As you know, it doesn’t matter what the form guide is,” Robbie said.
“I know it’s an old saying but you can go into it having won 10 in a row and the other side beat 10 in a row but there’s no favourites going into a derby.
“It’s who turns up on the night, who can handle the pressure, who can get on the front foot and who can get a lead, because, generally, the first goal in a derby will win it.”
And in lethal hitman Shankland, the Terrors will fancy their chances of starting well under the Friday night lights.
The former Ayr United forward tucked away an impressive double at East End Park, which could have so easily been a hat-trick or more on a number of occasions.
No opportunity to get his third came better than when he saw his 77th-minute penalty saved by home goalkeeper Ryan Scully after Kyle Turner’s handball.
Despite not completing his treble and failing to convert from 12 yards, boss Robbie has no complaints whatsoever about the 24-year-old, who already has seven league goals under his belt and nine in all competitions this season.
He added: “That’s why we were desperate to get him. I came in before the January window and tried to get him all through the summer so when the call came to say he was coming, I was delighted.
“I know that if you put the ball in that area then, nine times out of 10, it’s going in the back of the net.
“He’s proven that but we need to make sure we get supply to him and also get goals from other areas of the team as well.
“He’ll keep taking the penalties, the by-kicks, the throw-ins, corners – whatever he wants to take!
“He’s been great and I’m really pleased with him and, yes, he put the ball in the net but the rest of the players were terrific.”
Robbie added: “We’ve got over 2,500 fans that have come down for the game. The first thing they ask is for you to work.”