St Mirren boss Alan Stubbs insists he is not using his side’s opening Betfred Cup clash as a yardstick for how they will fare on their top-flight return.
The newly-promoted Buddies take on last season’s Ladbrokes Premiership shock troops Kilmarnock on Friday night as they kick off Group H.
But, having brought in seven new faces – with 15 heading for the Paisley exit door – Stubbs admits it will be some time yet before his side are fully up to speed.
And that is why he will not spend too much time worrying about how his side fares against Steve Clarke’s men at Rugby Park.
“I think it’s far too early to see this as a marker for where we are at right now,” said Stubbs, who faces a dilemma over who to start in goal after signing Aberdeen’s Danny Rogers on loan to challenge last term’s number one Craig Samson.
“I know Steve (Clarke) has said the same.
“We have just got to embrace the competition and do what we need to do to come through the group.
“It’s a great game to start. Kilmarnock had a fantastic season last year after Steve came in.
“He really took the club to new heights with them finishing in the top six. That was some achievement when you consider they were bottom when he came in.
“That turnaround was nothing short of incredible and I think it was right he got the sort of accolades he did.
“I’m sure he will be looking to carry on in the same vein this season and in terms of our group, it certainly looks like our toughest game.
“But for me they are all tough in their own right.”