Ian Harkes hit his half-century at Ayr then declared Dundee United ready for the tests ahead.
A gritty, stuffy scoreless draw on a freezing cold night at Somerset Park may not be the ideal way to make your 50th appearance for your club but Harkes seemed just fine about it all.
The American midfielder certainly isn’t getting jittery about United’s current form.
The Tangerines have seen their lead over Inverness Caley Thistle go down from 21 points, after they beat the Highlanders at Tannadice, to 16 following the most recent round of fixtures.
While they were drawing 0-0 at Ayr on Tuesday, ICT were scoring a dramatic late winner to beat Morton 3-2.
The Somerset stalemate meant Robbie Neilson’s men have only won one of their last eight matches in league and cup.
That single victory, though, was the big one – the 2-1 success over Inverness 12 days ago.
Harkes insists that United are well prepared to face the challenges ahead – starting with Partick Thistle at home on Saturday – as they strive to get over the line as champions.
Playing a straight bat, he said: “Recent results haven’t been there for us so I think it was a good point at Ayr.
“I think we know that everybody is going to be coming for us and waiting for us to slip up.
“We have to be on it every game, keep our concentration and look to deal with the next match.
“We showed our character against Inverness and we have to stand up in the other matches now.”
Asked about the advantage they still hold over their rivals, Harkes said: “I think everyone has their eye on it but we are also not too worried.
“We should not be worried about slipping up but instead be looking after ourselves and now thinking about other teams coming at us.
“We have to take care of our next game now and keep going.
“We have another chance on Saturday against a side that will be desperate for a result.
“Every team is coming for us so we have to be ready and we will be.”
Harkes produced a fine individual performance on Tuesday, much improved from what was a bad day at the office against Dunfermline.
Indeed, one of the best chances of the game fell his way but he fired wide of the far post.
He said: “I had to respond because I don’t think I was at it in the previous match.
“The gaffer asked me to get forward more and I felt I did that.
“I had a chance that I should have done better with.”
As for his 50th appearance, he said: “I have enjoyed it at the club and I need to keep pushing myself.”