Peter Houston has told Dundee United to ignore Hearts' sluggish start to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League season ahead of their visit to Tannadice.
The United manager firmly expects John McGlynn's side to pick things up and show why many observers were tipping them to challenge for second place in the absence of Rangers before the campaign got under way.
Hearts currently sit ninth with just one league win to their credit but Houston is refusing to believe the Scottish Cup holders have become a bad team overnight.
Houston said: "Hearts are still a good side. It's still very much early days with regards to league positions so you can't look too much into anything at this stage.
"John McGlynn has got some very good players to chose from even though they've let go some of the bigger name players.
"We know this will be a very difficult match. It's never easy coming up against any Hearts team.
"That's always been the case in recent seasons and it's not something that is about to change. We're going to have to be at our best to get the result we're looking for and anything we get will be hard earned for sure."
Houston has nothing but admiration for opposite number McGlynn, who he knows from their time together at Tynecastle. The Tangerines boss was assistant while McGlynn was youth coach in Gorgie so knows he will bring his team to Tayside fully focused for the job in hand.
Houston, whose side were held to a goalless draw by Ross County last weekend, said: "John is a very professional guy. He works ever so hard at anything he does and we know his Hearts team will be very well organised and hard to beat.
"John is working on limited resources but that won't bother him at all. Because of circumstances he's having to go with younger players but that is what he's good at. In saying that, I still expect to come up against a good Hearts team. They have as good a back four as anywhere in the SPL."