For the first time since March 2014, Dundee United have pieced together three successive Premiership victories.
United’s overall unbeaten sequence in the league now extends to six matches and positivity abounds, underlined by the wild celebrations which followed Charlie Mulgrew’s late winner against Motherwell.
Thomas Courts sceptics are being won over with every passing week as momentum builds.
Something special may just be brewing.
And Courier Sport was at Tannadice on Saturday to analyse the action.
Slick passing; irresistible movement; clinical finishing — it is no exaggeration to suggest that 3-0 triumph represented one of their most impressive performances in many years.
On Saturday, a different sort of display was required.
It was physical, bruising and direct.
Different questions were asked of Courts’ side — and they answered the lot.
Jeando Fuchs made four interceptions, more than anyone else on the pitch.
Dylan Levitt (9) and Kieran Freeman (7) were prolific in regaining possession. Only Liam Grimshaw (11) achieve more turnovers.
Ryan Edwards’ seven clearances was the most of any player by a distance.
When required, United scrapped and fought; hustled and harried. Then, when the moment was right, found sufficient quality to grab a couple of crucial goals.
It bodes very well for their aspirations of challenging at the top end of a division which does not always lend itself to silky soccer.
Charlie Mulgrew and ‘the Scouse Baresi’
As outlined by Courier Sport last week, Ryan Edwards and Charlie Mulgrew have been the foundations on which one of the finest defensive records in British football has been built.
In Mulgrew, they have composure, experience and a man with a penchant for a dramatic last-gasp challenge. Just ask Dundee’s Cillian Sheridan.
However, both men found themselves causing havoc at the other end on Saturday and, in doing so, underlined their value as far more than mere stoppers.
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) October 23, 2021
Mulgrew’s assist for Edwards’ opener — dancing down the flank before delivering a stunning delivery with his weaker right foot — was magic.
Added to his ability from set-pieces and decent aerial threat, it is no exaggeration to suggest Mulgrew could be worth 10 goals or more for United this term.
Edwards, meanwhile, has two in two and turned provider, albeit fortuitously, for Mulgrew’s winner.
The question is swiftly going to become: when was the last time United had a centre-half pairing this good?
It is the nature of goalkeeping that some may focus on Siegrist’s concession of a penalty.
The Swiss stopper sought to punch a deep delivery to safety and, instead, clattered into Tony Watt.
The former Celtic striker dusted himself down and slotted home an ultimately futile leveller.
However, Siegrist made two superb stops over the course of the game and, as has so often been the case, United’s afternoon could have been very different without him.
Sporting the captain’s armband, Siegrist carries himself in understated fashion.
But he leads by example, as evidenced when he brilliantly denied Sean Goss in the opening minutes. Better was to come after the break when he made a splendid stop to thwart Watt.
Siegrist made double the amount of saves of his opposite number Liam Kelly and remains worth his weight in goals for United.
Appere in action
A final word for homegrown front-man Louis Appere, who has endured a frustrating campaign in his bid to attain full sharpness and more minutes.
He has been limited to a handful of substitute appearances.
The arrival of Max Biamou — another physical, disruptive force in attack — could have been seen as a hammer-blow for Appere.
However, when Courts required someone to replace Nicky Clark and help United see out the last 10 minutes, Appere got the nod.
And very well he did, too.
It was a vote of confidence from the gaffer, and the youngster worked hard and held up possession.
Appere may not have kicked on as many expected after exploding onto the scene in 2019/20 but he could still emerge as a vital member of United’s squad this term.