Inverurie Locos manager Neil Cooper has backed his side to beat Brora Rangers in the Highland League Cup tomorrow.
The pair meet at Dudgeon Park in the preliminary round with the Railwaymen looking for a second win at the venue after triumphing 2-1 in the Highland League in August.
Harlaw Park boss Cooper is taking encouragement from that result, which he believes helped to revitalise their season and go on a run which has taken them to third in the league.
He said: “It definitely kick-started our season because we had a really hard start to the season. “We played three or four of the top teams from last year and it was a catalyst for pushing on. “The attitude in training and the performance levels from the players have been very high.
“It won’t be easy tomorrow. There are no easy games in the Highland League and Brora are up at the top doing well.
“You come up against the top teams along the way and you have to try to beat them.
“Whether it’s Brora or a team down the bottom of the league you have to show them the same respect and it’s on the day.
“Joe McCabe is suspended for us, but we are looking forward to it because they’ll know it’s a hard game for them as well.”
The League Cup is Locos’ last chance of trophy success this term, and Cooper feels they have been unfortunate in the cups.
He added: “We’ve been a bit unlucky in the cups apart from the Aberdeenshire Shield where Banks o’ Dee won the game easily.
“But in the Aberdeenshire Cup we were 2-0 up at Deveronvale and they came back and won 3-2 in extra-time.
“In the Scottish Cup, we didn’t start well and were 2-0 down to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, but we came back and then the boy scored a great goal to beat us 3-2.
“We were a bit unlucky in that instance, but it’s fine margins.”
Elsewhere second-placed Fraserburgh look to close the top on Cove at the top of the table when Forres visit Bellslea.
Deveronvale welcome Huntly to Princess Royal Park, Keith make the trip to Lossiemouth and champions Buckie visit Fort William.