Victory over a Premiership rival and a 100 per cent record is everything Ross County could have asked for from the Betfred Cup.
Their return to the the top flight after a season away comes with some momentum and a squad largely kept in tact from their Championship-winning campaign.
Co-managers Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell have largely kept faith with the players that got them promoted, feeling they are due a chance at the top flight after their efforts last season.
The majority of the squad have experience of Premiership football but the platform is there for others to step up. Josh Mullin in particular, after a superb season in the Championship, should relish the chance to have a crack at the likes of Celtic, Aberdeen and Rangers.
Ross Stewart seems to have taken the mantle given to him by Kettlewell and Ferguson, starting 10 out of their last 11 games and finding the net on six occasions. To compliment him you have top-flight pedigree in Billy Mckay and Brian Graham, while the addition of Lee Erwin, formerly of Motherwell, Kilmarnock and Leeds, gives the County management staff no shortage of competition.
Joe Chalmers’ arrival from Inverness and Ross Draper’s return cushions the blow of Jamie Lindsay’s departure somewhat, while also allowing Harry Paton to stake his claim for a starting berth without too much pressure on his shoulders. Iain Vigurs, provided he stays injury-free, adds greater quality in the middle of the park than the industry and energy levels provided by the other three.
Centre-backs Callum Morris and Keith Watson have returned to the fold after injury ended their 2018-19 seasons early, while Liam Fontaine has come back from his long-term absence without any major setbacks. Tom Grivosti grew in stature throughout the last 12 months and should be given the chance to enhance his credentials further in the Premiership.
Ross Laidlaw has taken the gloves in the early games, with loanee Nathan Baxter ruled out with a shoulder injury, but Jack Ruddy is an interesting prospect, who will be keen to impress given he only has an initial six-month deal.
Kettlewell and Ferguson have an understanding of the squad’s strengths and limitations, after a full season together in the Championship, and importantly have options to change things if plans go awry. The attacking capabilities of this side should see it steer clear of danger.
Key man: Josh Mullin.