Derek McInnes is glad St Johnstone will finally see some competitive action this weekend rather than friendlies.
The Perth outfit's boss is grateful to be playing in the Co-operative Insurance Cup first round, even if it is only against Irn-Bru Second Division Stenhousemuir.
"We're conscious of the fact that you need to get that competitive edge into you," McInnes said. "Motherwell, our first SPL opponents, have already played five European games so we need competitive football."
He added: "You have to play friendlies and they serve a purpose: you get fit, you get sharp, you get some confidence.
"But nothing beats real football, a bit of competitive football.
"It can't come quickly enough, to be honest."