When speaking to Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson, it is difficult not to admire the steeliness with which he carries himself.
Even in the aftermath of last season’s heartbreaking Premiership Play-off Final loss to St Mirren on penalties, the United gaffer was defiant and determined this time it will be different.
And, apart from their exit from the Betfred Cup following a group stage loss to East Fife, the Terrors have had the perfect start to their fourth consecutive term in Scotland’s second tier.
In the Championship, they sit top of the table, three wins from three, and go into the derby with main man Lawrence Shankland on seven goals in the league already.
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His summer arrival from Ayr United has been a major and timely boost for the Tangerines.
However, it is time itself, so far, that has proven to be the best healer.
Robbie, aided by the financial muscle of American owner Mark Ogren, set about rebuilding a bloated and beleaguered squad last January in his usual calm and decisive manner.
Mark Reynolds, Calum Butcher, Mark Connolly came in and were steadying influences last season, while Peter Pawlett added quality at the top end of the park.
In the months since, the Terrors have brought that into the current campaign and found a settled team as Robbie’s pool has gelled.
And now, United are reaping the benefits of that. Although, Friday’s derby clash at Tannadice will be the first real test of their mettle.
With a capacity crowd packed into the stadium, and more watching on live television at home and in pubs across the country, the expectation is United are the favourites and will see off city rivals Dundee to stretch their lead at the top of the table.
That’s easier said than done because, while the Dark Blues have not made the flying start their rivals across Tannadice Street have, it must not be forgotten they, too, are unbeaten and go into the match as the relegated Premiership team.
That brings its own pressure. However, there is an acceptance that James McPake’s side are more of a work in progress than the Tangerines.
In fact, they are very much similar to the United of eight months ago.
I expect Dundee United to pass their test and win the match, and probably go on to lift the Championship title in May.
Dundee will give them a tough game and I expect them to have a good season. Promotion may not follow this term. However, continue to build and their time will come.