Jordon Brown is desperate to play his part in Cove Rangers’ push for back-to-back promotions.
The former Peterhead and Aberdeen midfielder has been restricted to a bit-part role for the League Two leaders this season.
His substitute appearance at Stenhousemuir last weekend was his first game since the 5-1 win at Brechin at the start of January.
A title-winner with Cove last season and in this division with Peterhead, Brown admits it has been a frustrating campaign on a personal level, despite the Aberdeen’s side imperious form.
Their first season as an SPFL club has seen them stretch out a 10-point gap at the top of the table, ahead of nearest challengers Edinburgh City.
Brown, who scored against Edinburgh on the opening day of the season, said: “It was great to be back involved. It’s been something like eight weeks since I’d played.
“I’m as fit as I can be without playing – match-fitness can’t be matched by training or doing outside work. I just try to take advantage of the minutes I get and get something out of it.
“It’s always difficult when you’re not getting game time but I will always give 100% to try to affect the game.
“It’s been massively frustrating and hard to describe at times. But it’s been about keeping my head down, training away and performing as well as I can when that chance arrives.
“I can only hope it gets more regular towards the end of the season.
“I’ve been part of successful teams my whole career, at Peterhead and Cove. That’s probably made it tougher. I’m just as desperate as ever to be involved.”
Cove’s win over Stenny last weekend, coupled with Edinburgh drawing at Cowdenbeath, has seen a narrow gap at the top extend into double figures.
When will Cove Rangers be crowned League Two champions?
The league leaders welcome bottom side Brechin City to the Balmoral Stadium tomorrow.
Brown added: “It’s been quite unique, being top since the opening day of the season. The quality of the squad is not to be undervalued. We’ve been relentless.
“There have been a couple of slip-ups but when we have, we’ve bounced back. We have reacted any time we’ve had a test and our home record is brilliant.
“The Peterhead team I won the league with was very strong and we sewed it up with about three games to go.
“That would be a good gauge if we could do it before that.
“When everyone starts talking about it being done, of course it’s not.
“We need to keep chipping and we know it’s in our own hands.
“That’s all we can ask for and we want to go into that Edinburgh City game with as big a gap at the top as we can.”
There are 10 games left this season, with Cove still to travel to Edinburgh for the final time on March 28.
They end the season at home to Stirling Albion.
Brown hopes he has a role to play in the run-in, as Paul Hartley’s side look to seal memorable consecutive promotions.
He said: “I’ll just keep chipping away until the end of the season and I know I can contribute when required. The manager knows that as well and it’s just the situation he sees and when he needs me.
“It’s been tough mentally and physically, there are no two ways about it. But I’m looking to contribute when I can at an exciting time for the club.”