Jordon Brown believes if Cove Rangers want to win the Highland League they need to perform well in big games like tonight’s against Formartine United.
The champions visit North Lodge Park this evening in a crucial game as they look to retain their crown.
Cove are behind rivals Brora Rangers on goal difference at the top of the Highland League, but do have two games in hand.
Brown wants the Granite City side to deliver a strong display tonight to keep themselves in a good position.
The midfielder said: “It’s a massive game for us as it is for Formartine as well.
“As a player it’s the big games that you look forward to and Formartine are always tough to play.
“The last game was in the Aberdeenshire Shield when they beat us 4-1.
“We’re fully aware of how tough it’s going to be but if we want to win the league and have aspirations of going higher then we need to perform in games like this. These are games where you need to step up and the squad is fully aware of that.
“We showed it a couple of weeks ago against Brora when we drew 0-0 and were unlucky not to win the game.
“This is a game where people will ask questions and we need to have the performance to answer that.
“This is the game Brora will be looking at hoping we slip up.
“That is in our mind as well and if we want to win the league this is game where we need to produce a top performance.”
Brown also believes the experience of winning titles both at Highland League and SPFL level in Cove’s squad could be important tonight and in the final nine games.
He added: “We’ve got guys in the squad who have been in this position before.
“I’m as desperate as anyone to win my first Highland League title.
“Myself, Scott Ross and Ryan Strachan have won League Two at Peterhead and there are guys in the Cove squad who have won the Highland League.
“So we have the traits and experience to win the league.”
Fourth-placed Formartine are looking to close the gap on Fraserburgh above them, with the Broch seven points ahead having played three games more.
United are also hoping to get back to winning ways after Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Rothes.
Left-back Stuart Smith said: “We conceded three goals against Rothes and if we do that against Cove it’s safe to say we won’t get three points.
“That is a definite, so we need to make sure we are right at the back and make sure we defend as a team all over the park.
“I scored on Saturday and don’t get too many goals so it was good to get one. But it’s disappointing we didn’t manage to follow that up with three points.
“You can only enjoy your goal so much if you don’t get the win. To be honest as a defender keeping a clean sheet tonight would be better than scoring a goal.
“That is what you are there to do as a defender, keep a clean sheet, a goal is just a bonus. I would swap goals for clean sheets any day.”