St Johnstone relishing early League Cup start against East Fife - Tommy Wright
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright cannot wait for the Scottish League Cup to start despite concerns from Kilmarnock counterpart Steve Clarke.
Experiencing the early start for the first time, Clarke called for clubs to be able to use five substitutes to help avoid early-season injuries.
But Wright said: "It's nice with the new format of the League Cup that you get competitive football a lot earlier.
"And I think the boys are in a good place right now to get started."
St Johnstone's start to the season was much earlier last season - 29 June.
But this time they failed to make the Europa League qualifiers and their first competitive game is on Saturday, when East Fife visit McDiarmid Park in their opening group game.
"They got a little bit of extra time off compared to last year - when the majority of the players only had about 19 days - so they're feeling refreshed," Wright told his club's official website.
"We also managed to get our training camp in Austria, which was absolutely fantastic. The pitches, facilities and the setting were first-class.
"The players had a hard shift out there but also a very enjoyable time because it really was a lovely place to train each day.
"We've worked hard over the past three weeks and you always want to get that first competitive game under your belt."
St Johnstone will be without defenders Joe Shaughnessy and Brian Easton, plus striker Greg Hurst, through injury.