Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson will keep his eye on the Premiership ball as Scottish football’s summer of discontent rages on.
The legal move by Hearts and Partick Thistle to try to stop United, along with Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers, from being promoted will be dealt with by others at Tannadice, leaving Neilson to fully focus on getting the players ready for the scheduled top-flight start on August 1.
He has been preparing them both physically and mentally for the challenges that the step-up will bring.
The United boss said: “I am looking forward to playing against big teams in big venues in front of big crowds.
“I am looking forward to that and watching my team play in that environment.
“I want to help the lads prove they can play at that level.
“There are a lot of boys who have played in the Premiership before but there are also a good few who haven’t and until you do that then there will always be an uncertainty there.
“I think they all can but it’s just a case of helping them to do it. They have all shown they are very good Championship players but can they go and show they are good Premiership players? It is our job to help them do that.
“Me and the staff have to give them that belief and the information they need to help them but they also need to have belief in themselves.
“I think it is a great opportunity for this team.
“I know from experience that there is nothing better than bringing up a good group of players from a lower league, keeping them together and then showing everybody they can do it again in the top flight.”
Of course, Neilson achieved that feat when in charge at Hearts, comfortably being crowned Championship champions in 2015 before finishing third in the following season’s Premiership.
Asked what he has learned from that time, he replied: “It is about showing the belief in your players.
“If I believe they can do it then it gives them the confidence to go and show it themselves.
“There won’t be wholesale changes because these guys we have at the moment have shown they can produce at a top level,” added Neilson, who has signed up goalkeeper Deniz and defender Kieran Freeman on extended deals this week.
“They showed that last season in the cups against Hibs and also in big Dundee derbies and did fantastically well.
“It is just a case of them kicking on and doing it again.
“There is no doubt it is a big step-up.
“We know that and we won’t be shouting our mouths off about what we are going to do.
“We have been out of the Premiership and we haven’t been good enough to get back into it for four years.
“There have been more than 12 teams every year that have been better than us and have squads that have the experience and so we need to go up there and make sure Dundee United are competitive.”
Neilson feels the Tangerines won’t be able to afford any off-days when the action resumes.
He added: “We have to make sure we will have to fight for every point because it is so tough when you go up a level.
“It is relentless. Week in, week out you need to be at the top of your game.
“It is no use playing well every two or three weeks.
“We need to realise that we will need to be at our top level every week.
“There will be times when it will be difficult.
“We know we will have to come off the back of some bad results but it is about learning from that, sticking together as a team and football club and then coming back stronger.
“It has been four long hard years and now we are going back and it is about trying to re-establish the club in the top flight.”
Meanwhile, striker Lawrence Shankland made it a magnificent seven for the Tangerines in the official SPFL Championship team of the season.
The free-scoring frontman joined clubmates Benjamin Siegrist, Liam Smith, Mark Reynolds, Ian Harkes, Calum Butcher and Paul McMullan in the final selection.