It was ever thus in football, a new manager arrives at a club that’s been struggling and there’s an immediate revival.
Often the turnaround in fortunes is, in part, down to the performances of players who were not involved under the previous boss.
That’s certainly been the case at Dundee United, where a run of five wins and a draw under new gaffer Robbie Neilson has propelled them right back into the thick of the Championship promotion race.
And that success has seen major roles for two men who, as recently as three months ago, who were not so much out of the first-team picture as the door at Tannadice.
They are winger Paul McMullan and centre-half William Edjenguele and it’s fair to say, had conditions been right at the end of the summer transfer window, neither would even have been at the club when Neilson arrived last month.
Former Scotland U/21 McMullan was particularly close to moving on at the end of August.
Told he could move on if he could find another club, the final week of August did see talks held with interested parties and Partick Thistle were believed to be among those.
Without revealing exactly who the clubs he spoke to were, McMullan has confirmed those offers from elsewhere and that he was close to going.
In the end he decided, despite a lack of game time in the league, United remained a more attractive option.
It’s a decision his new boss must be happy he made because under Neilson, he’s started every game and made a major contribution.
He was Man of the Match in the win at Partick Thistle and his other starts have seen him heavily involved in the action as well.
At Dunfermline he scored one, set up the other and found time to miss a penalty he’d won himself.
The win over Queen of the South earlier this month saw him play a leading role again and have a hand in the move that led to Michael Doyle’s own goal that put United two up.
At County he played his part in the rearguard action that secured three points, though the one black mark under the new boss came when he was booked for diving.
There was no question of a dive as he was brought down in last week’s win over Alloa for another penalty – having missed at Dunfermline – Fraser Aird took over the kicking duties from him.
And such has been the 22-year-old’s contribution, it can be taken as read come the next transfer window in just over a month’s time, the only talks he’s likely to be having over his future are with the Tangerines. He’s out of contract in the summer but it looks a safe bet a new one will be on the table for him.
Edjenguele is also a free agent next year and, at 31, it’s difficult to say where he will be playing his football come the 2019/20 campaign.
However, if it’s elsewhere, it looks likely he will have moved on after playing a part in any success that’s about to come United’s way.
Out of the league team since the opening-day defeat against the Pars, he’s had to wait for his chance.
It came when Frederic Frans got injured in the warm-up prior to the Queen of the South win. A clean sheet in that one and another, part in thanks to a huge performance at the heart of the defence from the Frenchman, up at Ross County saw him retain his place for Alloa even when Frans was back fit.
It could still be that over the course of the season he reverts to squad player status.
Several times since his arrival the manager has stressed the contribution of those coming in when others are out through injury and suspension will be vital. Even if it’s just on that level, Edjenguele has shown he can have a part to play.