NICKY LAW is under no illusions over the size of the challenge that awaits tomorrow when Ross County host Motherwell in the Highlanders' first ever SPL fixture.
While Stuart McCall's men lost out 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League third round qualifier against Panathinaikos this week, the Steelmen have taken succour from the quality of a display that only really lacked goals.
But with First Division champions County set to unfurl their title flag on a proud day for the Staggies, Law knows Motherwell will have to maintain the levels they set themselves against the Greeks if they are not suffer disappointment in Dingwall on the opening day of the domestic campaign.
He said: "There are a lot of givens about this game and the first one of these is that we can expect the best possible Ross County to take the field tomorrow. They will be a proud team when they watch the First Division championship flag being hoisted in front of a sell-out crowd on their patch.
"They will also be coming into this game full of confidence given their last competitive game time saw them clinch pretty much a runaway title victory.
"So we are well warned and we know that we set ourselves some pretty high standards against Panathinaikos the other night. If we want to start the SPL season off on a positive note it is vital we maintain these levels."
Law was given a new role by Well boss Stuart McCall when he was asked to form a midfield partnership with skipper Keith Lasley against the Greeks and the duo combined to impressive effect.
Last season saw him operate on the left flank while also occasionally being asked to play ahead of the midfield.
The new role and the prospect of forming a permanent partnership with Las in the boiler room is something that the ex-Sheffield United star is relishing.
The 24-year-old said: "When I was at Bradford that was where I played most of my football and you can influence play a lot more because you see more of the ball.
"Both Las and myself like to get forward and I think that helped in terms of the amount of chances we created against Panathinaikos. After the European game I hope we get a run at it as a central midfield pairing.
"I think the County game is going to be a real test of our ability to keep the ball though and it is one we are both looking forward to."