Dundee United head coach Mixu Paatelainen insists confidence is high despite the club’s troubles.
In the aftermath of the 5-0 loss to Celtic last Sunday, the Finn made sure every player knew that the performance at Parkhead was completely unacceptable.
His words were choice but chosen carefully and he wanted to see a positive reaction to that criticism.
As he looked forward to today’s visit of Ross County to Tannadice, Paatelainen seemed satisfied that his no-nonsense message had gotten through.
He said: “The players have been great this week and training has been absolutely fantastic.
“The attitude has been spot-on.
“The headlines have been about players’ confidence being knocked but I don’t see any sign of that.
“There is a real determination from them to put things right.
“They realise things have not gone our way over the whole season and one or two of them might feel unsure about things but that’s where the work you do on the training pitch comes into play.
“When you work hard like they have done, then you can rely on that when the match starts on a Saturday.”
The proof that Paatelainen’s points have sunk in will only surface in a decent display against the Staggies.
That won’t be easy, of course, with County currently in fourth spot in the Premiership and safely into the League Cup semi-finals.
“Ross County are a good team and are going very well,” said the United boss.
“They have good players, clear jobs and clear patterns of play.
“You can see they do things right on the training ground.
“They have put lots of work in to turn things around there and have done that very successfully.
“They are an example of how things can turn around because they had difficulties last season.”