It will be a new-look Dundee United team that even most of their own fans won’t recognise when the Betfred Cup kicks off with a group-stage tie against Arbroath at Tannadice today.
The Tangerines could field eight of their nine new summer signings and, so far, the only chance Arabs have had to see them in action was in the friendly victory up at Brechin City early last week.
United impressed that night but the two build-up games since against Raith Rovers and then Cowdenbeath took place in private at their St Andrews training base.
One of the new boys who’ll be on show, Callum Booth, reports the encouraging signs of the Brechin run out continued in those two closed-door affairs.
And while he’s conscious the best time to judge any team is when the competitive action starts, he’s not been surprised by the fact things seem to be coming together at pace.
“I think it’s a case of if you sign good players they will click quickly. That’s what we’ve done and I’ve been impressed by the boys in training and these friendlies,” said the 27-year-old full-back.
“Quite a few of the boys who’ve been brought in also have good experience of Scottish football. They know what to expect and have fitted in.
“On top of that we’ve done a lot of hard work in the three-and-a-bit weeks since pre-season training. As usual there’s been a lot of fitness stuff and I’m experienced enough to know you need to put that work in to make sure you’re not hit by injuries and niggles during a season.
“But we’ve also done a lot of tactical stuff.
“The manager (Csaba Laszlo) is very big on that side of things and the training has been good.
“As good as it’s looked, we know the real test comes with the competitive stuff and we’re looking forward to that starting against Arbroath.
“It will be a good test. I know a few of the boys there and they had a very good season last year, so they’ll be looking forward to coming to Tannadice and trying to get a good start to their season.”
This will also be former Hibs and Partick Thistle man Booth’s first home game as a United player and he admits the chance to turn out at Tannadice on a regular basis was a factor in his decision to sign up on a two-year deal last month.
“I’ve played there a few times down the years and it’s a great stadium,” he added.
“Add that to the training facility over in St Andrews, which is brilliant, and it was definitely one of the reasons I was delighted to join United.”
When he decided to end his three-year stint with Patrick at the end of last term, it was widely expected Booth would stay in the Premiership. Several top-flight clubs were credited with a strong interest and it was something of a surprise when he opted for the Dundee United option.
He admits stepping down to the Championship with United was something he had to think long and hard about.
Ultimately, he believes while in terms of division he’s taking a temporary step down, in the longer term it’s going to prove to be a case of onwards and upwards.
“It was a big decision but once I thought it through I knew it was the right one.
“I’ve got a bit of experience now but at 27 I, hopefully, still have a few years left and I should be coming into my prime.
“When I look at the potential at this club, I know where it can go and, hopefully, I will be back playing in the Premiership before too long.”