Blair Spittal has warned his Dundee United team-mates they “can’t just expect to turn up and win” when they head for Stranraer in the Irn-Bru Cup.
Spittal was a member of the squad which made the same journey and won in the Scottish Cup in 2015 and knows full well United cannot disrespect the opposition if they are to progress.
The Tangerines suffered defeat in the league against part-timers Dumbarton and Spittal expects the Stair Park encounter to be equally tough.
He said: “We can’t just expect to turn up and win the game as we’ve seen already this season.
“No one can be treated lightly.
“Stranraer is a difficult place to go and we will have to be at our best to win the game.
“We went there last year in the Scottish Cup and it was a tough game.
“It’s a tight pitch and they made life difficult for us.”
United see the league as their priority this season but Spittal wants to win everything the club enters.
And he’s hoping the prospect of moving a step closer to a cup final will inspire the side to a win.
“The League Cup didn’t go as well as what we would have liked it to, so we will be trying to do better in this one.
“We want to go as far as we can in every competition.
“The opportunity is there for us to get to a quarter-final, so it is a great incentive for the boys.”
The long trip down the west coast would probably have most players wishing they had a free weekend given that it is an international break.
But Blair thinks the fact United are playing is a good thing as it gives him and his team-mates another chance to get used to each other’s styles on the park.
“A lot of new players came to Tannadice over the summer.
“They’re still settling into the team and we’re all learning about how different players play.
“The manager is new, too, so it is good to be playing this weekend.
“We are starting to gel as a team and we are definitely moving in the right direction.”
Given the amount of injuries boss Ray McKinnon has at the present time it will be interesting to see whether he risks his first-team regulars or rests them with one eye on the league.
The Tangerines go into the tie on the back of a good result at Easter Road and the wide player feels they should take confidence from how they played in that game, especially the second half.
“I’ve had a good run in the team recently, albeit I played a slightly different position against Hibs in the middle of midfield.
“We didn’t do well enough in the first half as we showed them too much respect.
“In the second we played a lot better. The team got in their faces and they didn’t like it.
“Easter Road is a difficult place to go, so to come away with a point was a boost to our confidence. It was a good point in the end.”
Today’s journey is certainly not the most appealing trip United players will make but Blair thinks a win will make it worthwhile.
“Some of us have travelled down there before and the road down is not nice.
“We haven’t told the foreign lads what the road is like. We think we will let them find out by themselves.
“But, if you win, it will make the journey home all the sweeter.”
Those sentiments will definitely be music to the ears of the hardcore fans who travel down the A77 to Stranraer.