Jason Cummings is hoping the absence of Hearts fans, including those in his own family, will work to Dundee’s advantage at Tynecastle on Saturday.
The 25-year-old may have made his name firing in goals for Hibs but he grew up supporting the Jam Tarts.
Cummings even used to sneak onto the pitch at Tynecastle to play when he was a kid at school but now, he is determined to win this weekend at the home of his boyhood heroes with the Dark Blues.
‘It’s always a tasty one for me’
The striker, snapped up by Dens boss James McPake from Shrewsbury Town at the end of the last transfer window, said: “Obviously before I signed for Dundee, I looked for the Hearts fixture.
“It is always a tasty one for me. So I will be buzzing.
“My whole family will be looking forward to it – they are all Hearts fans as well.
“I love playing at Tynecastle, I used to play there when I was a wee boy.
“I went to Tynecastle High School and we used to sneak on there so it is like my home ground. I’m used to it. I look forward to playing there.
“It will be different without fans though. Normally Tynecastle is one of the best stadiums in Scotland for atmosphere.
“That will probably be a positive for us. We will take it as a normal game to be fair and we go there to win.
“We know it will be a tough one, with where they are in the league – they are the best team in the league from the evidence of the league table.
“But we are going down there to get the three points.”
‘We need to go there with the right attitude’
Hearts are 12 points clear at the top of the Championship table but have drawn their last three games.
However, Cummings insists that Jam Tarts’ recent run does not give Dundee any extra cause for confidence.
The former Rangers forward said: “No, not really. As I say, they are still the best team in the league so we just need to focus on ourselves.
“It doesn’t really matter about them.
“We just need to worry about ourselves. We need to go there with the right attitude and we can get a result.”
Cummings last scored at Tynecastle five years ago playing for Hibs in a Scottish Cup tie.
The front man is now looking to pick up from where he left off on Saturday and is in a red-hot vein of form having netted three times in his last three games for Dundee.
He admitted though that the goal he scored on Tuesday night at Dens in the 2-1 victory over Inverness meant the most to him as it helped the Dark Blues pick up three points again after four matches without a win.
Cummings added: “I just want to score in every game I play in. It does not matter if it is Hearts or Inverness.
“It is another game for me, another chance to get on the scoresheet. But I get more joy out of the three points these days.
“Three in three but more importantly was the three points.
“The other couple of games, I scored and it was good for me but we did not get the three points.
“Against Inverness was extra special – I got my goal and we got three points so it felt much better.”
Dundee had a three-week break last month with games being postponed because of bad weather but Cummings believes the players have finally shaken off the ring rust and are back firing on all cylinders.
He added: “It has been tough because we had that period when we were off and we had three, four games in hand. We were not playing and so we were a wee bit rusty.
“A few new players have come in so we are still gelling as a team. But we showed against Inverness, especially in the first half, how good we can be.”