Derek McInnes is determined to return to Hampden Park with Kilmarnock this season.
Killie drew 2-2 on Saturday in their cinch Premiership game against 10-man Dundee at Dens Park, with Amadou Bakayoko and Zak Rudden on the mark for the hosts as the visitors’ Daniel Armstrong netted a double.
However, all attention has now shifted to Tuesday’s Viaplay Cup quarter-final against Hearts at Rugby Park.
Kilmarnock made it through to the semi-finals of the competition last season and McInnes, who won the tournament in 2014 with Aberdeen and took them to three other cup finals – wants more of the same this term.
He said: “Absolutely, it is a great opportunity. Obviously Hearts will see it the same way. You are in a quarter-final, there are good teams in it and every team will have the same aspirations.
“Some will see it as a tougher challenge than others but we see the fact that we are at home against a team of Hearts’ ability as a real chance for us.
“They will be seeing it the same but I am just glad we are in the mix.
“I wouldn’t want to be sitting watching other teams playing in midweek but it is a real opportunity for us and we will look forward to that when it comes round.
“Cup runs can be great for teams. Regardless of who you play, when you get to the quarter-final stage you are always expecting a tough game.”
With the Hearts game in mind, Killie frontman Marley Watkins was withdrawn after just 36 minutes at Dens as a precaution.
McInnes added: “He has just tweaked his groin a wee bit.
“He wanted to try and continue but we took him off just because we have Hearts on Tuesday and we didn’t want to make the situation worse.
“So we will see how he recovers.”
Dundee boss Tony Docherty was disappointed Josh Mulligan was shown a straight red in the first half of Saturday’s game for a challenge on Armstrong.
However, he was delighted with the way his side responded to playing for nearly an hour with only 10 men.
The 52-year-old said: “We had so many positives.
“I thought we were in absolute control at 11 v 11. I was really pleased with the quality of the play and I thought we were worthy of the lead.
“No game goes the way you want but it’s how you react and my players reacted magnificently. The fitness levels are outstanding and you could see that.
“A couple of weeks ago at McDiarmid Park (against St Johnstone) we should have taken all three points but only got a point – today we gained a point.”
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