Mark Souter reckons Inverurie Locos will take time to gel after a turnover of the squad this summer.
Locos have lost a number of starters from last season, with goalkeeper Andy Reid, Eric Watson, Ryan Stott, Jonny Smith and leading scorer Chris Angus all departing.
Manager Andy Low has been able to bring in Kieran Shanks, after his release from Aberdeen, former Cove Rangers and Dundee winger Nathan Meres and midfielder Hamish Ritchie.
The Harlaw Park side, who travel to Clach on Saturday in a fixture brought forward from January 2, started the league season with victory at Keith, but had their next game washed out when they were due to face Buckie Thistle.
Fraserburgh knocked them out of the Aberdeenshire Cup and they suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat at Lowland League side East Stirlingshire in the Scottish Cup last weekend.
Fixture change. We will now play Clachnacuddin away on Saturday. Sadly Aberdeenshire-based fans are not permitted to travel to this match. pic.twitter.com/A2ttfxjDfT
— InverurieLocoWorksFC (@InverurieLocos) December 15, 2020
Souter, however, believes they are adapting to what Low wants from them and it will take time, given the changes over the shutdown..
He said: “We’re still gelling as a team – we have a lot of new faces. I’m sure Andy (Low) and (assistant) Steven Park will try to bring in ore to strengthen the squad and are fit into how they want us to play.
“Chris (Angus), Eric (Watson), Jonny (Smith), Ryan (Stott) and Andy (Reid) are all gone – five players that would have been potentially starting every week.
“We’ve still got Neil Gauld up front and I’ve been impressed with Kieran Shanks. He’s a young lad who’s shown a bit of enthusiasm in wanting to play for the club.
“We’ve got to be patient. You can see what Andy is wanting to do. If we take on board what he’s saying and listen, it will happen.”
Low, in his first full season as manager, has spoken of the desire to win trophies and have Locos regularly challenging for honours again.
They made the final of last season’s Aberdeenshire Cup, where they were beaten by the Broch.
Souter added: “The main thing in football is to win trophies and I have not won enough. That makes me more determined to see this through, adapt and show we can win things.
“We all know it’s been a strange year. We must have started pre-season for about a month-and-a-half before we were told to stop and the season was pushed back.
“Locos, like most clubs, are not paying any wages just now. We decided that as a group and I was totally up for it. We knew that’s how it would be this year.”