Cove Rangers assistant manager Graeme Mathieson says there is no chance Hearts will underestimate the Highland League champions.
The Jambos were beaten 2-1 by Peterhead in the group stages of the Betfred Cup 12 months ago, a result which spelled the beginning of the end of Ian Cathro’s short and unsuccessful spell in charge at Tynecastle.
Cove opened their Betfred Cup campaign with a 2-0 defeat at Caley Thistle with Nathan Austin netting a double for John Robertson’s Championship side.
Mathieson will be leading Cove from the dugout with John Sheran serving the second of a two-match touchline ban in the club’s first competitive game at Balmoral Stadium.
He said: “Last year Hearts maybe treated the competition lightly.
“That certainly doesn’t seem to be the case this year.
“Craig Levein (the Hearts manager) has already been at two of our games so he is taking it very seriously. This is a competition they will be looking to win.
“I expect to see a strong Hearts team on Wednesday night.
“It was fantastic to play against Caley Thistle on Saturday. It was a step up for us but I thought we competed well and were unfortunate to concede the goals we did.
“It is great we have had the chance to play against this level of opposition.”
Cove welcome back defender Scott Ross and last season’s top scorer Mitch Megginson from suspension but new signing Jordon Brown is set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a head injury in Sunday’s friendly against Aberdeen.
Mathieson added: “We have a couple of young players in the squad.
“Young Cammy Milne has been thrown in at the deep end at right back as Alan Redford is away on holiday.
“Cammy is no relation to Harry and it is unusual to have two Milnes playing full-back but if Cammy develops the way Harry has it will be fantastic for Cove.”