Dundee midfielder Shaun Byrne believes playing his first competitive game at Dens Park today will vindicate his decision to drop down to the Championship.
The 26-year-old, signed on a three-year deal from Livingston last month for a five-figure fee, passed up another season of top-tier football with the Lions to try to help the Dark Blues return to the Premiership at the first time of asking.
And the former Dunfermline man believes stepping out onto the pitch at Dens today, when Peterhead come calling in their latest Betfred Cup Group D game, will bring it home to him that he made the right call.
Coming off the back of their disappointing 3-2 bonus point penalty shootout win over Cove Rangers after a 0-0 draw in normal time, Byrne is aiming to bounce back with a win over the Blue Toon.
“To be fair, I think we were pretty poor on Wednesday night considering the standard we’d set last Saturday (against Raith) and in pre-season,” he said.
“We just didn’t get going, had a couple of chances at the end but we weren’t good enough.
“It’s still a decent position to be in but it’s frustrating after Wednesday night. We set good standards and wanted to take that into the game but never got going.
“Every competition you play in you want to go as far as you can and this cup is no different to any other.
“Hopefully, we can get through into the next stage.
“It’s good there is a game around the corner quickly after Wednesday night and, hopefully, we can put it right tomorrow.
“Playing in front of a good crowd at home will be good.
“It’s a massive club Dundee and the way the manager sold the club to me it was really attractive and I’m delighted to be here.”
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As much as Byrne has been impressed by the club, they seem to have taken to him well also.
He was handed the captain’s armband at the Balmoral Stadium on Tuesday night by Dee boss James McPake.
And being skipper is something the former Livi man relishes as he targets progress beyond the group stages of the Betfred.
Dundee sit joint-top with League One Blue Toon ahead of their clash this afternoon and next Sunday’s visit of Inverness Caley Thistle.
Byrne added: “The gaffer pulled me aside on Tuesday and asked me to be captain. Obviously, it’s a privilege to be asked.
“It’s been good here, enjoyable and with a good group of boys.
“Hopefully, we can have a good season and we’re building a good team. We want to get a good run in the cup and take it into the league.
“Inverness will be aiming to get promoted as well. They done well last season and will want to kick on again. That will be a good game to see where we’re at.”
With kids like Finn Robertson, Lyall Cameron and Josh Mulligan enjoying run-outs of late, at 26, Byrne is a veteran. However, it is a role he is taking in his stride.
“They’re all really good but, obviously, if you can give them wee tips on or off the park then I’ll be happy to do that.
“I’ve got a lot of time for the young boys and, hopefully, they can progress.”