Cammy Bell hopes to see Dundee United’s name in the mix when the draw for the last 16 of the Beftred Cup is made at Tannadice.
By the time the ceremony takes place inside their own stadium at Sunday teatime the Tangerines will have played Dunfermline in their final Group C game.
Victory will guarantee United at least a spot as a best-placed runners-up behind Inverness, while they can pip the Highlanders if they better their result against Arbroath.
As goalkeeper Bell stressed, that would be a real shot in the arm for Ray McKinnon’s men less than a week before the really serious business – the Championship campaign – kicks off at home to Queen of the South.
“It would be a massive boost for us to go through,” said the Tangerines’ number one.
“We spoke about the League Cup before the season started and it was stressed that it was a competition we wanted to do well in.
“It would, therefore, be great to get to the last 16, particularly with draw being made at Tannadice after the game.
“We know what we need to do and that’s win the match.
“If we do that then we’re definitely in the next round.
“That would be a real bonus for us.
“We want to take momentum from the cup into the league campaign, which starts against Queen of the South the following Saturday.
“It can set the tone for the league campaign – 100%.
“So it has been important for us to play well.
“We got a good result up at Inverness last time out and I think we deserved to get what we got out of the game,” added Bell, whose two saves in the penalty shootout secured the extra point after a 1-1 draw.
“It was certainly pleasing to get the bonus point, which might be crucial come the end of the game on Sunday.”
Bell is one of the new boys to arrive over the summer and he has detected a feeling of cautious optimism in the wake of their relegation trauma.
He added: “We are already over what happened last season and that’s mainly because of the change of manager and personnel.
“This feels like a fresh start for everybody, even the boys who were involved last season.
“Everyone has been working hard and it’s been really good at the club.
“It has been a positive pre-season for us and we are looking to kick on.”
The Pars had been going well in the cup themselves before coming a cropper against ICT at East End Park in midweek, finishing on the wrong end of a 5-1 scoreline.
United should still be wary of them, though, argued Bell.
He said: “I think they have made some good signings and I’m sure they will be looking to be up there this season.
“We know it will be a test for us on Sunday but this is also a chance for us to put down a marker.”
United boss McKinnon watched the Pars lose on Tuesday but he felt the result was extremely harsh on the Fifers.
“The game flattered Inverness,” said McKinnon.
“It shouldn’t have been a 5-1 – definitely not.
“Dunfermline were very good in the first half and went in 2-1 down, which they never should have been.
“They then chased the game and it cost them.
“To be on the end of a 5-1 was pretty bizarre so they will be dangerous and we can read nothing into that result.”
United’s big injury doubt is over left-back Paul Dixon, who hurt knee ligaments against Inverness.
McKinnon said: “I would say he is 50-50 but we are not going to take any chances with him.
“If there is any doubt then he won’t play.
“I am still tinkering with things such as partnerships so I will probably mix it up again on Sunday.”