RYAN DOW knows all too well from his time at the club just how much will be expected of Dundee United this season.
But the Dunfermline attacker believes the Pars have raised hopes over their own prospects by pushing Celtic so close in the Betfred Cup last weekend.
Dow spent 11 years at Tannadice and made over 100 appearances for the Tangerines before leaving in the wake of relegation from the Premiership in 2016.
The 28-year-old insists four years out of the top-flight is already too long for his old side and he accepts they have every right to be regarded as favourites, alongside city rivals Dundee, for the Championship title.
But Dow remains full of pride for the way Dunfermline held Celtic to a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes at Parkhead last Saturday before succumbing to James Forrest’s extra-time winner.
And the summer signing is convinced the Pars can hit those heights again as they bid to land their first three points of the campaign against United.
He said: “When the fixtures came out I looked straight away to see that we had both Dundee teams at the start of the season. It’s one I’m really looking forward to.
“Right after the Celtic game we said we had to take that performance into Saturday and kick on, and it would be a massive win if we could do it.
“The pressure is on both Dundee clubs this season, with the players they’ve got, the players they’ve brought in, their budget, which will be a lot more than for most clubs in this league.
“They’re obviously going to be the favourites so it will be a good gauge, and hopefully we can win and get the first three points.
“United are a massive club. When you play for them, you know every week you’re going to get a big away support or a big home support.
“But that brings pressure. It’s brilliant when you’re winning but when you’re not winning it’s not nice.
“We need to play that to our advantage and let their big crowd turn on them.
“You see that with any big club. If things aren’t going well it can spin into a positive for the opposition, and that’s what we’ll be trying to do; we’ll try to put them under pressure as much as we can.”
He added: “The two games Celtic have played in the league, they’ve scored 12 goals, so it was a daunting task to go to Parkhead.
“But we’ve given a good account of ourselves. We’ll take the positives of how well we did and how well organised we were as a team, beacuse we worked on that all week and it wasn’t just down to luck.
“The aim is to continue that kind of shape and hard work, because we’ve got a threat going forward with the players we’ve got.”