Jim Goodwin’s sights are firmly set on silverware but the St Mirren boss will not be underestimating Dumbarton in Saturday’s Premier Sports Cup opener.
The Buddies lost out at the semi-final stage of the Scottish Cup and League Cup last season and the Paisley boss wants to make amends.
However, that desire includes giving due to respect to League One opponents Dumbarton, who are joined by Partick Thistle, Dunfermline and Stenhousemuir in Group H.
Goodwin said: “We had a couple of great opportunities getting to Hampden in two semi-finals last year.
“Obviously we would love to go one further and get all the way to a final and give ourselves an opportunity to win a bit of silverware.
“But there are no easy games. Of course we are favourites in the group but it doesn’t guarantee you progress.
“I saw that in my first year here when we got put out in the early stages.
“So we have to make sure we are switched on from the first moment against Dumbarton and don’t underestimate them.
“We have had two really good pre-season games against Linfield and Ayr United, scoring six goals, and the strikers are firing, and we are going in with a bit of confidence and momentum, but we want to carry that on. But it’s a tough venue to go to.”
Newly-promoted Hearts begin their cup campaign with a trip to Peterhead and Robbie Neilson will ease his squad back into competitive action.
“It is very, very early,” the Hearts boss said. “But to be honest, it is good to get back at it.
“Sometimes pre-season can be quite long and laborious. You want to get back to the competitive games and so we are looking forward to the games coming up.
“Obviously we want to win every game so we will put out a team to win every game.
“We play Saturday then Tuesday in competitive games which is quite early for everyone and then have a wee break and go again Tuesday then Saturday.
“We will utilise the squad as needs be to make sure we win the games.”
In some of the fixtures elsewhere, last year’s beaten finalists Livingston travel to Brechin.
Kilmarnock, relegated from the top flight last season, are away to East Kilbride while there is a Fife derby between Cowdenbeath and Raith Rovers.
Ross County’s scheduled trip to Forfar was cancelled on Thursday after a Covid outbreak among the Dingwall side, which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat.