Paul Watson insists Dundee United will be gunning for revenge when Arbroath make their quick-fire return to Tannadice.
Watson was part of the much-changed Tangerines side which slipped out of the Challenge Cup third round at the weekend on a penalty shoot-out to Dick Campbell’s part-timers, who prevailed in the end courtesy of Bobby Linn’s decisive spot-kick.
Campbell’s newly-promoted outfit are due back on Tayside on Championship duty within a fortnight as they bid to add further fuel to their impressive start to the season which has witnessed them more than hold their own since coming up as League One title winners.
But defender Watson, who watched team-mates Liam Smith and Sam Stanton both miss from the spot while Lawrence Shankland, Paul McMullan and Nicky Clark all netted, has warned the rampant Red Lichties it will be a different story next time.
Watson said: “They come back here in the league in a couple of weeks’ time so at least we know what it’s going to take.
“They’re a good side with good players, so it will be another tough game.
“We’ll need to be patient. If we can take our chances then hopefully we’ll get the right result that day.
“They’ve certainly got that momentum of winning League One last season. That often happens when a team wins promotion.
“And they’ve started well this season too. They’re a physical outfit, but we’ll be looking to win that game when they come back here.”
Former Livingston and Ipswich centre-back Watson has been only a bit-part player since the season got underway with Neilson’s league leaders already storming to four straight Championship wins, with the most recent being their 6-2 televised demolition of city rivals Dundee.
But the 28-year-old has no intention of knocking Neilson’s door to express any frustration because he knows their early-season form has been nothing less than impeccable.
Watson said: “You’ve just got to keep yourself ready so that whenever that opportunity comes along, you’re ready to step in.
“The boys are flying. They’ve won four out of four in the league.
“So I’ve got absolutely no complaints. We’ve got a really good squad with a great bunch of boys.
“We’re all together and we all back each other. If there are any injuries or suspensions or chances for whatever reason, all the boys who’re on the bench are ready to step in.
“It’s a long season and everyone will be needed.
“Personally, it was just good to get a run-out. It was pretty hot out there which I probably didn’t need!
“The manager has drummed that into us the fact that this is the squad and it’s going to take everyone because of the sheer volume of games.”
United now turn their attention to next Saturday’s trip to face Ayr United at Somerset Park when they’ll aspire to clinch a fifth straight league win to maintain their 100 per cent start.
And Watson insists any memories of their recent resounding derby win are now well and truly forgotten as they bid to kick-on further in their quest for automatic promotion.
Watson said: “The derby was brilliant. We had the all the highs of that.
“But we picked ourselves up fine for this one. We made a few changes which shows how strong a squad we have got.
“I suppose it was a frustrating day as much as anything.
“I think we controlled the game well and created a few chances mainly in the second-half because not much happened before that.
“Derek Gaston, their keeper, basically kept them in it in the second-half with a string of great saves. On another day, we could have scored two or three.
“We didn’t take them so we’re disappointed to go out. But the sole focus is now on the league.”