On the face of it, Dundee United’s 0-0 draw at Falkirk on Saturday was an uninspiring result and a bitter pill to swallow for the 910-strong travelling support.
Ray McKinnon’s men did not do enough to break down a stubborn Falkirk side and have now taken just two points from the last nine available.
Despite this, the Tele has found five reasons for optimism at Tannadice.
With Dunfermline leapfrogging St Mirren to top the Championship, after the Pars’ 3-0 win over the Paisley side, United remain just two points off the second-tier pace-setters.
The top six, which also includes Greenock Morton, Queen of the South and Livingston, look to have already broken away from the rest of the league.
The Championship is tough but Arabs should not fear any of their title rivals in this mini league, nor the rest of the teams. They should have enough to stay in the pack.
Title tilt still on
United could go top before the end of the month with wins over two title rivals. Morton visit Tannadice on Saturday and United travel to East End Park to face the current league leaders Dunfermline before September is out.
If results go their way, it could be a far rosier picture as the first quarter of the season comes to a close in early October.
Although the Tangerines have struggled in front of goal so far — scoring only five — they have conceded the same amount but still have the best defence in the league.
If the back four and goalkeeper Harry Lewis can continue to keep opposing teams out, United have every chance of winning games of football.
In Paul Quinn, Mark Durnan and William Edjenguele they have experienced centre-backs. Jamie Robson is improving every week at left-back, Stewart Murdoch and Lewis Toshney are versatile options and Tam Scobbie is still to come back from injury.
They have strength in depth at the back and often a solid defence is what title-winning sides are built on.
Ray’s a winner
Despite the criticism levelled at the negative attitude of his side, United manager Ray McKinnon is most definitely a winner. He has previous of getting teams into the play-offs with the Tangerines last season and Raith Rovers the previous campaign.
On top of this, he guided the Arabs to Irn-Bru Cup success last time out and has the squad to defend the trophy.
Ray has the skills and strength of character not only to keep United in the top four but to take them to the league’s summit.
On the squad front, striker James Keatings and midfielder Fraser Fyvie are starting to find form and fitness.
In recent weeks they have been pivotal figures for the Tannadice outfit, with Keatings’ late free-kick rescuing a point against Dumbarton and Fyvie impressive at the Falkirk Stadium.
The former Hibs duo are experienced Championship campaigners, both won it last season with the Edinburgh outfit and Keatings has secured promotion twice, previously with Hearts and Hamilton Accies.
This experience will prove vital for a group full of young talent.
The Arabs also have a talented bunch of kids knocking on the door with Matty Smith and Scott Allardice likely to see plenty of football this season.
Guys like Willo Flood and Scott Fraser have also seen limited action for one reason or another and will boost United.