Peterhead boss Jim McInally has hailed the commitment of his players as they embark on an important run of fixtures over the festive period.
For many, Christmas and New Year is a chance to relax and unwind with their families and perhaps eat and drink more than normal.
Footballers have it slightly different as the expectation is they will still be in good shape for training and games.
The Blue Toon have matches on December 22, 29 and January 5 after tomorrow’s clash with Cowdenbeath at Balmoor.
Manager Jim McInally is also lining up a Boxing Day training session, with his players spread from the North-east to the central belt and as far south as Annan, expected to descend on Forfar to be put through their paces.
With every point important as the Buchan side attempt to win League Two, McInally expects a lot from his players at this time of year – but says they meet his demands.
He said: “Every club will be in the same boat. In terms of training for us it’s not too much of a problem because we only have one night all together and with the fixtures it is only games on a Saturday.
“So there’s no excuse for players not looking after themselves. Our training is scheduled for Boxing Day and I’m just going to go ahead with that.
“I know some of the players might not be able to make it due to family commitments.
“But we have to deal with that and I understand some of the predicaments. But what we are planning to do is train early on Boxing day.
“It shows commitment but I wouldn’t just say it was our players – all part-time players have a terrific attitude.
“But I do think our players make a great commitment. For the players in the central belt every time there is a home game they basically give up their weekend.
“There is a big commitment which a lot of people don’t recognise but I certainly do.”
After Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with League Two leaders Edinburgh City, Peterhead are still two points off the summit.
McInally doesn’t expect an easy afternoon against Cowdenbeath but insists winning is all that matters with City facing Elgin.
He added: “It’s always about winning – but there are some weeks you say just winning is more important than the performance.
“I would say this week is one of them, but at the same time we are coming off two good performances.
“We could have made better decisions up front on Tuesday but the rest of the team were strong and we played the game in the right manner.
“We’re on a decent run of form and need to keep it up, Jack Leitch and Scott Brown are playing as well as they have in a while. We’ve got Simon Ferry to come back in and possibly Derek Lyle as well.
“We had a scarce-looking bench on Tuesday but we still have strength in depth. We’re going to encourage the players to keep being confident and keep at it and if we do that we’re always hard to beat.
“Going back to last season we’re already well ahead of our points and we can’t do a lot more than what we are in terms of points.
“With three games of the second quarter left we are averaging 17 and a half points a quarter which is good going.”