Coming off the bench to score the winner at Dens Park wouldn’t do Scott McDonald’s Dundee United career any harm but, as important as the Dundee game is to supporters, the veteran striker wasn’t brought to Tannadice for fleeting local derby one upmanship.
McDonald will be viewed as the nearest thing you can get to guaranteed goals in the Scottish Championship. And so he should be.
A prolific scorer throughout his career, the former Australian international would have been a decent addition to most Premiership sides.
Ray McKinnon has reached double digits with his summer recruitment but getting McDonald is his biggest coup by some distance.
He’s the type of penalty box finisher who turns dull 0-0 draws at Dumbarton into 1-0 victories that fade fast in the memory but are crucial to grinding out a promotion campaign.
Comparison with the squads of all United’s potential title rivals now shows that McKinnon has the strongest and deepest one at his disposal. August signings still to come from Falkirk, Dunfermline, St Mirren, Morton or Inverness Caledonian Thistle are unlikely to alter that.
Hibs went into last season as nailed on champions in the eyes of most. The Tangerines will be just as strongly backed 12 months later.
The McDonald signing has confirmed that dealing with the pressure that goes with being overwhelming favourites to win their league will be the biggest challenge for United.