The Dundee United players understandably returned to work at the start of this week with a big spring in their step following Friday night’s thumping 6-2 victory over city rivals Dundee at a packed-out and raucous Tannadice.
However, Tangerines assistant boss Gordon Forrest has revealed that the coaching staff were quick to ensure that everyone was keeping their feet firmly on the ground despite the derby delight.
The message was clear that the win over the Dark Blues was now in the past and all the focus has shifted to this weekend, the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup tie with Arbroath and keeping the winning run going.
Forrest said: “We knew what the Dundee game was all about. They performed well and we were fortunate enough to kick on.
“The boys were magnificent as were the fans.
“But first thing on Monday morning, we were sitting in a room with the players and they understand and we understand that it is back to business.
“Nothing has been achieved yet, nothing has been done.
“We knew the training session on Monday morning was going to be so important to show that we had the heads on and were ready for the match at the weekend which will be a difficult game.”
While the coaching staff are trying to keep a lid on things, expectation levels among the United fans have understandably rocketed after the 100% start to the league campaign with 14 goals scored in just four games.
However, Forrest added: “We are trying to keep that away from the players and everything low key.
“It is a challenging league as we have seen in recent seasons.
“Every team we play against raise their performances.
“The boys are in a good space at the moment but as soon as we came in on Monday we were sitting with the players saying, ‘Look, it is gone, here is Arbroath and we need to keep focusing on winning’.
“I am sure there are going to be a few ups and downs but the message is clear that game (derby) is finished and now the most important match is this weekend.”
There were three departures from Tannadice on Monday night before the transfer window shut with frozen-out Fraser Aird and Freddy Frans leaving permanently while striker Osman Sow has joined Kilmarnock on loan until January.
Forrest said: “We are in good shape in that forward area and Osman is at that age where he wants to play games.
“So that opportunity came up for him to go out on loan. We do have the option to recall him if required.
“But it will be good for him to go out and play.
“We have an option to recall him in January but it might go on for the rest of the season.
“It will be good for him to go and get valuable minutes at this stage rather than reserve minutes.”
While the window has now shut, United still have the option to bring in free agents such as Elliott Frear.
The former Motherwell winger has been training with the Tangerines and Forrest admitted he could yet sign a deal with the club.
He said: “Elliott knows what we think of him. Whether we can get something done, it is something we are looking into over the next period.
“But he has been in and around the place, he knows what the club is about and he is in that category we can sign.
“So we will see what happens over the next few days on that.”
Friday night’s win came at a cost with centre-half Mark Connolly having to be substituted in the 25th minute with a hamstring strain.
Forrest said: “Mark had to come off during the game so he is in the early stages of being assessed.
“He has had a few little issues with his hamstring in the past. He just felt it during the match so we had to take him off and make that change.
“We will hopefully find out over the next few days how long he might be out for.”