Robbie Neilson believes the feelgood factor is back at Dundee United and it is now up to the players to make it stay.
The Tangerines have started their Championship campaign in perfect fashion, securing three wins out of three.
The supporters have bought into the project, with 7,023 attending the opening game against Inverness, over a thousand following them to Firhill, 2,500 away fans heading to Dunfermline on Saturday and 10,000-plus having bought tickets for the home end for Friday’s Tannadice derby against Dundee.
Also, United have opened contract talks with Neilson.
The Tangerines are keen to reward him for his team’s winning start to the season with a fresh contract.
His current contract will run out at the end of this season so the club want to move quickly.
Therefore, on the park, in the dugout and in the stands, there is a positive feeling around the club ahead of the big match against the Dark Blues.
Neilson is well aware of that but he stressed that it will only remain if his men keep producing the goods.
He said: “I think the fans have bought into what is going on at the club, and I’m not just speaking about on the pitch.
“There is a freshness about the place and everyone is pulling in the right direction.
“On Saturday we had over 2,500 at the Dunfermline game and that’s phenomenal.
“We have also sold out for Friday night so the feelgood factor is coming back.
“However, you only keep that if you win games.”
The United players have gathered together to remind each other that no one should get carried away after just three league fixtures.
However, it is difficult to ignore the fact that three points on Friday and they will move seven clear of the team seen as their main rivals for the title.
That is one heck of an incentive to win the game but Neilson is keen to manage expectations.
He was asked about how a win will put clear blue water between United and their neighbours, Neilson replied: “It would but we are only three games in.
“It would be great and the longer you can keep your (winning) record going the better.
“Realistically, though, teams are going to lose games at some point and this division is very difficult.
“The longer you keep winning and the more runs you can go on, you give yourself a good chance of going up.
“We do look at other teams’ result when we come in after a game but if you can get into a situation where you are out in front then that puts pressure on the other sides.
“Going into the game on Friday, it’s a derby and we have to win it.
“If we do that and it puts pressure on the teams on Saturday who have to win.
“From our perspective, it’s great to be ahead and we want to continue on that path.”
Neilson has experienced the Edinburgh derby and the derby-type clash between MK Dons, the side he managed, and AFC Wimbledon down in England.
He has enjoyed the occasions and is looking forward to the Dundee version.
He added: “I have been involved in some Edinburgh ones, won a few at Easter Road and Tynecastle, while the big one for me down in England was MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon.
“I think it was the first time the teams had played each other in the league and I had just come in.
“It was just the unknown going into these things because you weren’t sure what it was going to be like with all the build-up.
“It was interesting and a funny one because it was a derby but the two teams were 100 miles apart and it was just the history of it that brought the rivalry element.
“I enjoy the derby games, I think they’re great, and it’s all the build-up round about it.
“You can talk tactics and all that but, ultimately, it’s the team that turns up on the day that’s going to win it.
“It doesn’t matter what your form is going into it.
“Win, lose or draw the week before, you have to make sure you’re at it first 10-15 minutes and then, the majority of the time it’s settled by one goal.”