He may have been Raith Rovers’ player of the year but Lewis Toshney isn’t expecting the red carpet treatment at Stark’s Park today.
The defender moved from the Kirkcaldy club to Dundee United in the summer to team up again with ex-Raith manager Ray McKinnon.
Now he heads back over the Tay with the Championship joint-leaders as the Tangerines defend their 12-game unbeaten run.
Toshney is not a naïve sort and he is fully expecting to get pelters from the home punters this afternoon.
“I don’t think I will get the best reception at Stark’s Park because the fans there gave me plenty of stick at Tannadice when we played Raith,” he said.
“I was over near them towards the end for a corner kick I think and they were giving me it.
“But I just had a wee smile to myself because it’s a bit of a laugh and I can take it.
“It doesn’t bother me.
“I had a great year at Raith and I think I did well for the club.
“I even won the Player of the Year last season.
“The fans were brilliant with me when I was there.
“They might not be this weekend but there will be no hard feelings on my part.
“But the opportunity to come here with the gaffer was too good to resist so there was only one decision I could have made.”
Toshney doesn’t think he will be the only victim, either.
He added: “I’m pretty sure the manager will get stick from the Raith fans as well but it won’t be a big deal.
“He did a great job there and the fans were sad to see him go.
“Most of the players there are ones he worked with so they will be desperate to beat us.
“The gaffer is the same as he was when he was at Raith – coming to a bigger club hasn’t changed anything.
“He still works the same way, his training and man-management is exactly what it was last season.
“Those two things are his big strength. You can approach him about anything and the work you do every day is great.”
United have all the momentum going into this one, with their unbeaten run stretching all the way back to the Betfred Cup match against Morton on September 20.
The 1-0 win away to Ayr last Saturday also kept them level on points with Hibs at the top of the Championship, despite the performance leaving a lot to be desired.
However, Toshney claimed they aren’t overly concerned with what the Easter Road men are getting up to.
He said: “We are not checking Hibs’ results after every match.
“There is far too much football to be played before the title race really hots up.
“I am sure Hibs will be saying the same.
“It is early days and who knows what will happen when the games come thick and fast over the next few weeks.
“We just have to focus on ourselves, win as many games as we can and hopefully keep the pressure on.
“Ideally, we will get in front and take it from there but there is no point even thinking about it right now because this league is so unpredictable.
“I know it sounds boring but you just have to take it a game at a time and see what happens.”
Toshney also promised that the supporters can expect an improved display after a shaky time at Somerset Park.
He added: “If you want to win this league you have to grind out results – it doesn’t need to be pretty.
“Although you want to entertain people, winning is what matters in a title race so we can’t beat ourselves up too much about last weekend.
“At the start of the season we were not winning games like that. We lost to Dumbarton when we played like that, for example.
“We got the three points and it kept the unbeaten run going.
“If we grind out another win at Raith then I will be delighted.
“Obviously, I hope we play better and I think we will because sometimes a team just needs a little blip like that to get everyone back to the level they should be at.
“The manager gave us a bit of a rocket and it was deserved because we needed it.
“I have seen him give them a few times now and the main thing is we play better next time.
“We have a winning mentality behind us now.
“We are full of confidence and can’t wait to get started again.”