As their team has struggled to get back to the Premiership, the last two-and-a-half years have seen Dundee United fans become used to false dawns.
Under Ray McKinnon, by the end of 2016 the Tangerines had battled back from a slow start to their first season in the Championship to move to the top of the division and looked every inch automatic promotion contenders.
It didn’t last and the next couple of months saw them slip off the pace and have to concentrate their efforts in getting up via the end-of-season promotion play-offs.
It was a case of lightning striking twice a year ago when Csaba Laszlo took over.
For a couple of months, United again looked the part only to quickly fall away with a string of horrible results that left them again facing the lottery of those post-season knockout games.
The memories of those campaigns are why many Arabs are trying their damnedest not to get carried away by the progress their team’s been making since another new manager, Robbie Neilson, took charge last month.
After a run of four wins and a draw, keeping feet firmly planted on the ground must be growing increasingly difficult. For the 900-plus who travelled to watch the weekend win at Ross County, it might be well nigh impossible.
Because at the Global Energy Stadium on Saturday, Neilson’s Tangerines looked every inch the kind of side that finish top of this notoriously difficult of leagues. That was largely down to there being nothing pretty about this win.
Under McKinnon, Laszlo and even Neilson already, United have shown when it comes to quality football, if everything clicks there’s not a team in the second tier who can live with them.
They can pass any side off the park, keep possession and conjure enough chances to comfortably win a game.
For all but a few sides with genuine aspirations to win the Championship, however, that’s seldom enough. This is a division where the team finishing first must also have the ability to grind out wins.
It’s what St Mirren did last season, Hibs the one before and even Rangers found they had to be able to do as they got up two years ago.
Even Neilson’s young Hearts side that galloped away with the title in 2015 did, on the few occasions when necessary, show they could dig deep and battle for points.
Now, and arguably for the first time since they dropped down from the top flight, it’s a quality United possess.
They ended County’s nine-game unbeaten home run since the start of the campaign, not through playing the kind of football of which we know they’re capable, but by standing up to the physical challenge that’s always posed by the home side up there.
Yes, United had to do plenty defending, but through a clear game plan, organisation and a willingness of players to put their bodies on the line, it was executed so well that, for all their territorial dominance, the Staggies had very few clear sights of goal.
A nice bonus stemming from that fact was, for the first time in his short tenure, in the build-up to the game injuries were a significant issue.
Frederic Frans and Callum Booth were doubts last week and unable to train with the rest of the squad until a Friday session confirmed they wouldn’t make it. In William Edjenguele and Paul Watson, the manager found able deputies.
He’s said since he arrived at Tannadice winning promotion would take a squad of highly committed players.
He now knows he has that and try as they might not to, the fans must be getting excited.