Dundee United will bring much more than star striker Lawrence Shankland to the Premiership party, according to manager Micky Mellon.
The new Tannadice gaffer knows plenty of eyes will be on Shankland to see how the Scotland international deals with life in the top flight.
Certainly, the St Johnstone defenders will have it drilled into them that they can’t give the frontman a second of time or inch of space.
His fabulous 28-goal tally last season in the Championship was the biggest reason why the Tangerines are back where they feel they belong.
As he prepared for the big league kick-off against Saints tomorrow afternoon, Mellon warned the other clubs there will be more to United than just their prize asset.
The Tangerines’ manager said: “Lawrence deserves everyone to be speaking about him because he’s done terrifically well.
“However, the whole group is getting a chance to step up after doing terrifically.
“They are the champions who have got to this level and can show what they’re made of in the transition up.
“That is exciting, to make a statement, for all of them: Lawrence included.
“We will give them every bit of help they can make an impact at this level.”
United’s supporters, via their video feeds, will not just be intrigued to see how Shankland fares in more challenging company this weekend.
Manchester City right-back/winger Luke Bolton is in contention for starting place against the Perth men.
And Mellon hinted that Bolton, who has agreed a season-long loan deal, will not be the last bit of signing business, courtesy of the financial backing from United’s American-based chairman Mark Ogren.
The Tannadice gaffer said: “We are always looking to try to improve the group and we will have the ability to do that.
“We have got fantastic owners so we will always have a prod at a few things while I am here.
“How quickly it happens, who knows? Sometimes it can be a heartbeat or take a bit longer.
“But we are working very hard to make the squad stronger.
Mellon also has the luxury of a fully-fit squad to welcome Saints boss Callum Davidson and his players.
Captain Mark Reynolds sat out last Saturday’s 1-1 friendly draw with Kilmarnock but Mellon declared: “Everybody trained today so that is great news.”
Mellon doesn’t yet have his starting line-up fixed in his mind and it will be interesting to see if he comes up with a surprise.
He is certainly keen to give younger players their chance but may wait a while until the Tangerines find their feet in the top division.
He said: “We have a lot of good young players at the club and if I can get an opening to get kids into the side then I will take it.
“I will do that while also doing my job for the club by, hopefully, winning games of football.
“I want to get as many home-grown young players into our group as I can.
“We will work hard to improve them and get them closer so they are able to come in and help us if required.
“That is what Dundee United has been about over the years – one of its main strengths.
“The owner has been heavily invested in the academy and we have so much talent in there that my desire is to give these kids a chance to play for their home-town club.
“However, first and foremost I want to win so I wouldn’t put someone into the team just because they are young. I would put them in because I feel they will give United a better chance of winning a match.”