Ray McKinnon believes the key partnerships he needs to get Dundee United back to the top of the Championship table and stay there will form soon.
The Tangerines gaffer accepts the criticism of recent performances as valid but also knows, but for a string of missed second-half chances against Dumbarton last weekend, they would be sitting on the same points as early pace-setters St Mirren.
As things stand, they’re two points adrift of the Buddies and, as his new-look team takes shape, Ray believes it’s a gap that will soon disappear.
“We have a good squad there and, when everyone is fit and gelling, we’ll be OK,” he said.
“I can’t wait to see James Keatings and Scott McDonald gelling up front and we’re close to getting the midfield sorted.
“Jordie Briels and Fraser Fyvie will be a good partnership in front of the back four and I think that, too, will really improve the team.
“So, while I get the recent criticism, there are positives moving forward and what we need to do right now is make sure we grind out results over the next few weeks until we get there.”
After five games from last term, United were actually two points worse off than they are this time round, a fact of which the gaffer is well aware.
“We are in a better position. Last year there was a major overhaul of the squad and that meant it took time to get going and this year we’ve had another major overhaul to bring the age of the squad down.
“Again that means it’s taking time to get bang at it. But we know we need to improve and we will.”
Confident as he is his team will get to where he wants them to be, and soon, Ray does appreciate why fans have been frustrated.
“They want United back in the Premiership and I appreciate that.
“Last week wasn’t good enough but I can assure them the players were as disappointed about it as they were.
“And everyone at the club wants the same thing as them.”
Looking to Saturday and the trip to Falkirk, defender Mark Durnan could return after coming through the Development League win at Kilmarnock.
He had been struggling with a knock picked up at St Mirren last month and, although it was not too serious, it was decided not to take any chances and he was benched for the Dumbarton clash.