Dundee new boy Adil Nabi can’t wait to star on Scotland’s biggest stages but he knows it is games against the likes of St Mirren that matter most.
The Dark Blues’ attacking midfielder will travel west with his new teammates today to take on the Buddies as they unfurl the Championship flag they won last season.
It is an opening fixture that may not boast the glamour of a match against Celtic, Rangers or Aberdeen but, for Nabi, the important thing is getting three points that will give the Dens men a head start on their hosts in what is expected to be a hotly-contested division.
The 24-year-old Englishman, whose career kicked off as a youth player at West Bromwich Albion, said: “I’m so excited about getting started with Dundee.
“When you look at the fixture list, I guess the sort of games you want to play in most are against the likes of Celtic, Aberdeen and Rangers and it will be great to visit their grounds.
“But, at the same time, I think the more important games are going to be the ones against the teams around about us.
“If we can pick up points in those fixtures, such as the one against St Mirren, that should stand us in good stead for the season.
“Personally, I just want to play,” added the enthusiastic Nabi.
“Really, I just want to play every minute of every game.
“I know I can do really well for Dundee and I think the manager feels the same way.
“That’s what enticed me to come here in the first place.
“I’m just really glad that it’s all sorted now.
“I jumped at the chance, to be honest, and just want to get my head down now.”
Nabi has benefited from a bit of patience shown by his boss Neil McCann, who persevered with him on trial even though he picked up a knock while trying to earn a contract.
McCann took the player with the squad to Portugal for pre-season and has now rewarded him with a six-month deal.
“When I was told I had the chance to come here and train as a trialist I had no hesitation,” said Nabi.
“I did pick up a little injury while on trial but I had played in the game before our pre-season tour of Portugal and had already trained quite a bit with all the lads.
“I spoke with the manager and was always reassured by him.
“He was quite happy with me all along and made me feel wanted.”
Nabi believes he is joining both a club and division that is on the up.
He said: “It’s a growing league with a lot of good teams.
“I want to be part of it all.
“Celtic have been qualifying for the Champions League and the other Scottish sides have done really well in Europe this week – even Aberdeen who were unlucky to go out at Burnley.
“It can’t be ignored. It’s getting better all the time.
“I feel as though I’m joining something which is of a good standard.
“Even here in training, the standard is high and that’s the way it should be.”