Micky Mellon believes his Dundee United side have coped well with the transition to the Premiership and can make an impact on the league next season.
Mellon took over last season after Robbie Neilson left the Championship winners and was tasked with making sure the club’s return to the top flight was as smooth as possible.
Having enjoyed numerous promotions during his time in England, the experienced boss said he was prepared for the ups and downs even in a season as unusual as this, but was happy with how his squad had adapted.
“I’ve experienced these transitions up the leagues many, many times,” Mellon said. “Although you never know when certain things are going to happen, you’re prepared that they may because in every promotion I’ve done, which is eight of them now, usually the same things happen.
“I always understood what the job would be. Anybody moving into something different, especially moving into something of a higher level than the team was at before, was going to take a period of adaption. That’s just the way it goes and nobody can even argue with that.
“I was expecting to see who could adapt to that quicker, who needed a bit of help, and who might not make the trip.
“I’ve always said the same thing: I keep things very simple and I watch with my eyes, not my ears. People telling me they’re good players and telling me this or that, I watch, have a look and see what people may need in order to give them a chance of being a successful player in the Scottish Premiership.”
United are sitting in eighth place in the table, 11 points clear of the play-off spot now with five games to go. Mellon is still looking to finish the season on a high but is already planning to strengthen in the summer for an ambitious second season in the job when he thinks United could be “a different proposition”.
“The vast majority, if not all of the players have made the trip and done really, really well,” he said.
“To the point now where next season, and hopefully we can get these last few wins under our belt, we would be a different proposition because I have seen that these players can handle this level and make a major impact.
“If possible, with a little bit of help, we can do a wee bit in the summer and bring a few players in. We can continue to move Dundee United forward as they are expected to be, now that we’ve got a level to work forward from.
“In terms of how I think it’s gone, I always want better, I’m greedy and always ambitious and want more, but to be fair to the boys they’ve all stepped up and we’re certainly in a massively different place to where we were.
“We’ve proven that, rather than people saying to us that we’re a good team. I like to see proof, and over the course of the season so far the players have proven that.
“But we still want more improvement and still want more consistency.”