Ross Laidlaw hopes to make his maiden Tynecastle outing with Ross County this weekend, but watching Edinburgh derbies from the sidelines has prepared the goalkeeper for what to expect.
Although Laidlaw spent three years with Hibernian he never played in their much-anticipated capital showdown against Hearts, having to be content with a place on the bench on several occasions.
The 27-year-old, who joined County in the summer, is likely to be between the sticks for the Staggies when they face Craig Levein’s side on Saturday, and he is eagerly awaiting his first outing in the well-renowned Tynecastle atmosphere.
Laidlaw said: “I never played in the Edinburgh derby – I was on the bench for a good few of them.
“When I was on the bench the atmosphere was electric. I think it’s probably one of the best atmospheres in Scotland, playing at Tynecastle, so I’m looking forward to it.
“The Edinburgh derby is massive. When you are at Hearts and Hibs you realise how big these games are, and how much it means to the fans.
“Even on the bench, the build up to these games is absolutely massive in the town.
“It’s a big, big game – you can feel it. At Tynecastle the fans are so tight to the pitch, it’s a proper old stadium and they have got the new stand as well.
“It’s a great football stadium for atmosphere.”
County go into the game high in confidence after defeating Hamilton Accies 3-0 at Victoria Park on the opening day of the season, however Laidlaw has urged the Dingwall men to remain measured so soon after their promotion from the Championship.
Laidlaw added: “I think we know it’s not going to be like that every week. We’re not going to win every game come the end of the season.
“We will have bits of the season where we are not playing as well, and maybe not winning every week. We just need to keep it going.
“The confidence is high. With the boys winning the league last season, I could see the confidence and spirit was high in the dressing room.
“We are a good team – we need to believe it. But we know it’s going to be difficult.
“There are a lot of big teams in the league, we are probably one of the smaller teams.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Laidlaw has been an ever-present for the Staggies so far, with on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Nathan Baxter having suffered a dislocated shoulder in pre-season which prompted the Staggies to bring in Jack Ruddy as competition.
Laidlaw feels he has settled in soundly with County’s backline, adding: “We chopped and changed the defence in the League Cup, we have been playing with two different centre halves.
“It’s good to get an understanding with them, although we are working every day in training.
“I think the defence has done really well and I’ve not had too much to do in the pre-season games and at the weekend.”