Locos boss Cooper playing down their opportunity to level with Highland League leaders

Locos manager Neil Cooper.

Manager Neil Cooper isn’t thinking about Inverurie Locos’ trip to 15th-placed Keith as his side’s chance to go level on points at the top of the Highland League.

Cooper and his team travel to Kynoch Park with the chance to leapfrog Fraserburgh and match Cove’s tally, although both sides have games in hand on the Railwaymen.

Cooper said: “We just take one game at a time. It’s no different playing a team at the top from playing a team at the bottom, it’s the same three points you get from it.

“You’ve got to prepare like it’s the best team you’re up against each week, put in maximum effort, show the right qualities attacking-wise and defensively.

“Recently, we’ve beaten the likes of Formartine, Buckie and Brora as well – if we keep that kind of form we’ll keep winning games.

“We’re not really concerned about Cove or Fraserburgh, they’ve got games in hand and they’re good teams – we know that.

“We’ll just look after ourselves and see where that takes us.”

Key man Neil Gauld started up front after injury problems in the 3-1 win over Formartine last weekend and Cooper is well aware of the dangerous attack Locos now wield.

He said: “We’ve got options there obviously.

“We know how important a player Neil (Gauld) is for us, but we’ve got Andy Hunter and Joe McCabe there as well who all score a lot of goals.

“Andy got his hat-trick a couple of weeks ago and another goal against Formartine.

“So, hopefully, we’re going from strength to strength – we’ve got good attacking power.”

On-Form Inverurie have been further boosted this week by the news Cooper, assistant Steven Park and goalkeeping coach Steve Pratt have signed contract extensions to 2020.

They will travel to Keith injury-free.