Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson has struck a note of caution as the feelgood factor sweeps through the club.
The pretty straightforward 2-0 win over Dunfermline at East End Park extended Neilson’s unbeaten run as United boss to three games – two wins and a draw.
The Tangerines look to be in far better shape than they were under previous manager Csaba Laszlo but Neilson is keen to build the recovery slowly and surely rather than have anyone getting carried away so soon.
He said: “It is early days and we are only three games in.
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“The players have already shown they can play and can win football matches but the key to this league is being consistent.
“There will be teams who can do it for three or four matches but the best sides do it week in, week out.
“That is going to be the big question for us: Can we do that?
“That is what we need to answer.
“The players have been great and have been working hard. They have been doing what we have been asking of them.
“We have to continue doing the right things and make sure the players continue to push themselves and each other.
“In training they have all been excellent, with a real desire from the guys who haven’t yet been involved to get into the first team.
“However, it is still early and we have a long way to go in this season.”
The passage of time has shown Neilson that his team probably won more comfortably against the Pars than he felt immediately after the full-time whistle on Saturday.
They face a different challenge this weekend, with Queen of the South the visitors to Tannadice.
It would be nice if United could keep Doonhamers’ goal machine Stephen Dobbie quiet and that will be a priority.
Neilson said: “When you are at a game on the sidelines you are never 100% comfortable.
“I would probably have needed that third goal to go in and then I could have started to relax.
“So it wasn’t until I watched the Dunfermline game back later that I saw we had quite a bit of dominance.
“We still gave up a few chances and I have spoken to the defenders about that.
“We have given away a few clear-cut chances and when you play against better players they can punish you.
“Queen of the South have Stephen Dobbie, Lyndon Dykes and Gary Harkins, who are their three key players.
“Harkins has had a hamstring injury so I’m not sure if he will come back but they will still have the other two.
“Dobbie is the main player for them and if you can keep him quiet then you give yourself a good chance of winning the game. So that’s something we will work on.”
Neilson, who will have Paul Watson (thigh) and Jamie Robson (ankle) back training this week, was pleased to have been able to give captain Fraser Fyvie his second full 90 minutes as the midfielder continues his recovery from a serious knee injury.
Nevertheless, the United manager does not feel Fyvie is 100% quite yet.
He said: “I think Fraser still has a little bit to go and he would probably agree with that himself.
“When you have been out for nine months like he has been then you can take six to eight games – or even longer – to get going.
“It depends on the individual because we are all different.
“I can definitely see him getting his fitness and strength back.
“At Partick, we had to take him off after 70 odd minutes and you could see he was starting to tire.
“He played the whole of the Inverness game but was fatiguing towards the end then against Dunfermline he looked stronger.
“I expect him to look even stronger against Queens.
“That’s good news because he is a key player for us.”