Step back in time to the 93rd minute of the Dundee derby and life didn’t seem too bad for United fans.
They had just seen yet another young star, Blair Spittal, light up Tannadice with two brilliant goals and the Tangerines were leading 2-1 over their city rivals.
Had they held on they would have had three precious points to take their tally to six from three Premiership matches, with a win over Motherwell to add to an opening-day defeat to Aberdeen.
However, United didn’t hang on. Instead, James McPake scored with almost the last kick of the ball to turn what would have been a great win into a disappointing draw.
Any supporter who thought it couldn’t get any worse than conceding a last-gasp goal to Dundee was made to think again at Hamilton.
This was as worrying a display from a United team as there has been in a long, long time.
They simply can’t afford to be as bad as this again.
With Celtic coming to town this Saturday, the damage the champions could inflict if United fail to sort themselves out just doesn’t bear thinking about.
In the first half they were second-best to Accies in every department, while the second, although better than what had preceded it, was still worrying due to the lack of reaction from United to being three down.
The Tangerines have been good this season notably the second half against Dundee and latter stages against Well and are peppered with talented young players who need time to develop and improve.
Nevertheless, playing like this piles pressure on the manager and themselves, and the performance shouldn’t have been as poor as it was.