Ryan Edwards believes steadily improving Dundee United have banished the demons of their 9-0 humiliation against Celtic.
The Tannadice side welcome the Hoops this Sunday for the first time since the thrashing in late August that made it five defeats in a row and cost previous boss Jack Ross his job.
However, Edwards feels their performance at Celtic Park in November – when they went close to a 2-2 draw before losing two goals in stoppage time – shows they are capable of competing with the Hoops on their day.
Asked how much the 9-0 defeat still plays on his mind, defender Edwards said: “Not a lot.
“As players, it will stay in the back of our minds for a long time because it hurt so much and it was embarrassing that day, but we’ve played them since and had a good performance at a difficult place. We should have seen that game out and got a draw.
“I think a few people were wondering what might happen to us at Parkhead after what happened at Tannadice but we raised a few eyebrows with our performance, and it’s been the same in a lot of games since.”
Edwards insists the 9-0 defeat came amid a “crazy” period for United, when they were also heavily beaten by AZ Alkmaar, Hearts and St Mirren, but he feels they are a totally different team now under Liam Fox.
The Tangerines are still just three points off the bottom of the cinch Premiership but they have lost only one of their six games since the World Cup break and were unfortunate to be denied victories in stoppage time by both Hearts and Hibernian.
“I think that was just a crazy time, individually and as a team,” said Edwards, reflecting on the difficult start. “We went through that period and now it’s in the past.
“We’ve improved as individuals and as a team and I think it’s showing. We’re nowhere near where we want to be but I think we’re on the right path. We’ve only lost once since the break against Rangers and we bounced back at Easter Road and should have got the win there.
“It’s massive to be going into a game against Celtic with confidence. They’re still a top side and it’s going to be another hard game but we’re in a much better place now.
“We’ve kicked on since Foxy got the job. We’ve certainly looked a better team and I think we should have had more points on the board than we have.”