Rory McKenzie knows Kilmarnock face a huge task against Celtic on Sunday but insists it is the type of game that inspired Killie out of the Championship.
Derek McInnes brought the Ayrshire side back into the Premiership after a year out and they started the league campaign with a home 1-1 draw against Dundee United and 2-0 defeat to Rangers at Ibrox.
Next up at Rugby Park is a game against champions Celtic, who have won two out of two in the league so far – but long-serving midfielder McKenzie is looking forward to another big game.
The 29-year-old said: “You need to remember last season – this is why we are here.
“There were games last year which were not very nice, tough places to go and you want to play in the big games.
“You want to play against Rangers and Celtic and test yourself against the best and we relish these games and especially after last season I am certainly going to relish these moments.
“We were all disappointed after the game last week but the manager made a good point, that eight weeks ago we were playing Arbroath (to win the league).
“We have come a long way since then.
“It is a tough start but it is a completely different game playing the Old Firm at Rugby Park than away from home and previous seasons show that, we have been able to do OK in certain games.
“Celtic’s squad is impressive, both they and Rangers have done really well in the transfer window and strengthened heavily and it just makes it harder for everyone else.”