Micky Mellon has promised his players won’t take their “foot off the gas” after making a promising start to the Premiership season.
United’s high tempo was a feature of their 2-1 victory over Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday, a result that put them in joint-third spot in the table with seven points out of 12.
During pre-season, Mellon made apoint of asking for the tempo to be increased when the competitive stuff started and is delighted that his men have taken that on board.
They didn’t give the Staggies a minute’s peace on the ball, snapping at their heels, and piled forward at speed when in possession themselves at the weekend.
The Tangerines will, in all likelihood, have to work even harder to take anything from Celtic at Tannadice this Saturday.
Mellon has offered reassurance that they will.
He said: “We have lifted up a division, the quality is much tougher and the running is much harder.
“We have to meet those challenges all the time and not take our foot off the gas.
“That is what it takes to be successful in football.
“I don’ see any reason why you don’t have that mentality all the time.
“Most of the teams that have played for me have done it that way and we have been reasonably successful.
“We have to make the basis of any performance pure, hard graft.
“It is all about working hard for yourself, your team and your teammates,” added Mellon.
“We have had our rewards for some decent performances but the boys are back in this week and we are going foot to the floor in training again.
“We will be working hard to make the players better so we can consistently get points in this league.”
United’s two wins thus far have come away from Tannadice, at Motherwell and Dingwall, while they have managed a draw against St Johnstone and loss to Hibs at their own stadium.
The aim now is to start winning at home.
That will be hugely difficult against the Hoops but Mellon’s men will give it a go.
The United gaffer added: “I thought we were very unlucky in the Hibs game to come out with nothing.
“I don’t think either team did enough to win the game and it was a wee bit toothless and, with one wee break, they turned us over.
“I will look at performances very fairly and I won’t be too tough on the lads because they have got an awful lot right.
“We could have done things better but we didn’t deserve to come out of the Hibs game with nothing.
“Now, though, we have moved on as we showed with our win in Dingwall.”
Mellon is satisfied with the way his team have performed overall but isn’t getting carried away.
He said: “Listen, you want to win every game you play in.
“I don’t think I set any targets at the start of the season.
“From day one, all I said was I wanted us to improve as a team and a squad.
“I believe if we keep improving the group – that means working hard, like we will have to continue to do – then the league table will take care of itself.
“There will be ups and downs, we know that, but we have set a standard and now we have to try and build on that.”
The Tangerines were without the injured Lawrence Shankland, Jamie Robson, Liam Smith, Ryan Edwards and Paul McMullan against the Staggies but Mellon is hopeful of having some back for the Celtic clash.
He said: “We will see how they are over the coming days but there is a good chance that they all, or most of them, will have recovered.”
United, meanwhile, have opened talks with 17-year-old forward Kai Fotheringham over a contract extension.