Calum Butcher hopes Dundee United’s winning habit can can continue into their Premiership campaign.
The Tangerines got used to taking three points from games as they motored to the Championship title last season but they knew keeping that going in the top flight would be extremely difficult.
Having grabbed a victory in only their second fixture back in the big time, though, Butcher hopes the winning feeling they experienced at Fir Park on Saturday becomes familiar.
Butcher, bearing the scars on his leg from that hard-earned 1-0 success at Motherwell on Saturday, is well aware that it won’t be easy to make it two-in-a-row when in-form Hibs come to Tannadice tonight.
He will be asked to do his fair share of monitoring on-fire frontman Kevin Nisbet, the former United transfer target who grabbed a hat-trick for the Easter Road men against Livingston at the weekend.
Nevertheless, Butcher is delighted with the start made by United – four points out of six – and thinks they are capable of more than matching the Hibees this evening.
“We know there are going to be different challenges for us every time we go out there,” said the tough-tackling Englishman.
“We have to be ready and believe in what we are trying to do as a team this season.
“You have to remember that the bulk of the boys have been together for two years so we know each others’ games pretty well. We have also added some quality but it is still the majority of the squad that played last year.
“You build up a good understanding over that length of time and we can bounce off each other during the matches.
“We demanded high standards from one another last season and ended up winning the league. We just have to have that same ambition but tailor it for the top league.
“As a team we have been used to winning – we have that mentality from last season– and we go into our matches expecting to win.
“The onus is on us to make that the case this season as well.”
This will be the biggest test of United’s top-flight credentials so far but Butcher believes they will be up for it.
“Hibs are tipped to do well this year and have obviously made a great start,” he said.
“Ours hasn’t been too bad, either, though.
“The teams we have played so far (St Johnstone and Motherwell) are also expected to do well and we have looked pretty decent against them.
“This is a competitive league usually and this season will be no different. There are no poor sides in the division so we have to keep our heads down and continue to work hard.
“Hibs are a good side who are in form but we will also have the belief that we can pick up points against them.
“We have now played two well-established Premiership sides and we really wanted to make a good start to the season.
“We have been lucky enough to have been able to do that in the first couple of games and want to keep it going.
“That’s four out of six for us and we were actually disappointed with the draw against St Johnstone.
“We then went away from home and got a great result that makes the first result look better.
“A big thing is getting these boys to believe in themselves but I think we have started to do that.”
Butcher has been paying attention and knows just how well Nisbet has been playing, with his hat-trick the highlight of the Hibees’ perfect start to the campaign.
The United midfielder admitted: “He is a threat – definitely.
“Mind you, Hibs have a few quality players in their side.
“They may have Nisbet but they also have a couple of other top strikers as well so they will all need looking after.”
United also hope to have their own goal machine available, with Lawrence Shankland expected to shake off the ankle injury that saw him sit out the win at Well.
“Obviously, Lawrence is a massive player for us,” added Butcher.
“He wants to be out there playing for the team but Louis (Appere) came in and did well up front for us on Saturday.
“What we have across the team is competition for places but hopefully Lawrence is OK.
“He has been looking after himself over the summer but has picked up an injury so fingers crossed for him.”