Ross County manager Malky Mackay is determined to make home comforts count when the Staggies host Hearts on Saturday.
County will return to Dingwall for the first time since August 22 when the Jambos make the trip north, with Robbie Neilson’s men boasting an unbeaten record following their promotion from the Championship.
Mackay expects the Edinburgh outfit to bring a strong support to the Highlands, with the Staggies boss urging his side to rise to the occasion in search of their first league victory of the campaign.
Mackay said: “It is great when teams like Hearts come here with their big supports.
“If you look at our pitch, it is immaculate. The place was bouncing against Rangers and we’ve had a couple of good away trips to clubs with big stadiums.
“I’m telling the players how much they can enjoy it in the Scottish Premiership at places with big attendances and at our own stadium when it is full.
“We went to Celtic on Saturday and with the fans singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ the hairs were standing on the back of some of our players’ necks – they’d never experienced that before.
“Coming back to your own ground, you then really want to show in front of your home fans.
“It is just nice to be back at our home stadium.
“I talk about process and structure, and you build into that the travel for away games and other routines like walks and snacks.
“That lessens slightly when you’re at home, which is great. It is nice on a Friday night to let the boys get to their own beds, with their home cooking, and turn up here fresh and relaxed on the Saturday.”
Hearts’ fine start to the campaign has come as little surprise to Mackay, who added: “It’s a club I know well, having worked at their training facility at Heriot Watt University in my last job.
“Hearts’ chief executive Andrew McKinlay is a guy I know well, a good friend of mine, who worked with me as well.
“They were always a club who were going to come back up and do well with the funds to bring in a large squad and a quality squad.
“It is going to be a tough one for us on Saturday, but I’m sure it is going to be a good attendance.
“I want our players playing against the best and going toe-to-toe with the best.”
Mackay has been encouraged by the Staggies’ recent performances, which have brought them two points from their opening five games.
He added: “We’ve created chances, scored goals. Can we do better? Absolutely.
“But it is a measure of the standards I want from them that I’m disappointed with Saturday, Celtic at Parkhead.
“We now have Hearts coming here, another tough game against another good team and good club in this country.”