Ryan Edwards believes the competition for first-team places can help Hearts get off to a winning start on Wednesday.
The Jambos take on Cove Rangers in their opening Betfred Cup group stage match at the Balmoral Stadium tomorrow night, and midfielder Ryan knows it will be a testing encounter.
He feels, however, that the battle to be included in Craig Levein’s starting line-up will raise standards, which in turn will hopefully lead to victories.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the 24-year-old said: “There have been some good moments in training and pre-season games.
“So far, we’ve gelled well but we can definitely be better.
“We’re looking forward to the first competitive game. There’s nothing better than playing competitive games.
“It’s going to be an interesting challenge because there are so many new players but I think we’re ready.
“Tactically we’re working on a lot of things to get everyone working on the same wavelength.
“It think come the first game, hopefully we can start with a win and use that to get out of the group in the Betfred Cup and take that into the first league game of the season.
“It’s important we get up to speed straightaway, that’s been said by the management staff and the players know it as well.
“The players that were here last season didn’t get out of the group so I think no matter the opposition the players are going to be up for it.
“The new players coming in, there’s competition for places and we all want to be in that starting XI.
“You use both the hurt and the positive energy from the new players to push everyone together and hopefully get the three points.
“Cove are going to be up for it. They’re going to make it really difficult for us and try to capatalise on our mistakes.
“We need to make sure we’re on it to start the Betfred Cup with three points.”
Ryan’s press conference is available to watch in full on HeartsTV.