Jack Ross can foresee ‘benefits’ from Dundee United’s drubbing against AZ Alkmaar.
The Tangerines were swept aside 7-0 by the classy Eredivisie outfit on Thursday – United’s heaviest ever standalone European defeat.
Vangelis Pavlidis and the magnificent Tijjani Reijnders both notched doubles, while Hakon Evjen, Dani de Wit and Mayckel Lahdo all rippled the net.
As good as AZ were, the Terrors were every bit as bad.
Nevertheless, Ross is hopeful that, once the dust settles and criticism has been absorbed, his players can treat the Holland horror show as a learning curve.
“In the fullness of time, there will be benefits to Thursday,” said Ross. “We saw first-hand what it’s like playing against top teams in Europe.
“Our players had a taste of what it’s like playing against some very good individuals and an experienced European team.
“The players will learn from it and hopefully it can help them achieve things for Dundee United and for themselves.
“Some young players got European experience and that will stand them in good stead.”
But Ross acknowledged: “Thursday wasn’t the kind of circumstances any player wants to be involved in on the pitch.”
Ross now takes a bruised and chastened United to Hearts, where he previously worked as under-20s coach, seeking their first Premiership win of the season.
With another sold-out away following heading for Gorgie, suffice to say United owe the travelling Arabs a response.
“You learn more about players – and we learn more about each other – in challenging periods than you do when everything is going well,” continued Ross.
“We were low after Thursday night but we need to get ourselves back up again.
“The supporters travelled to Holland in big numbers and they will go to Tynecastle in big numbers too. We want a response for them – and also to restore pride. We lost a bit of that in Alkmaar.”