Paul Hartley hopes his young loan players can step up and benefit from Cove Rangers challenging at the top end of League One.
The Aberdeen side have five players on loan from clubs in higher divisions. With the packed fixture schedule and injuries hitting the Cove squad, each will have the opportunity to play their part.
Ross Graham rejoined from Dundee United after the league resumed, while Connor Smith and Cammy Logan remained with Cove after signing loan deals from Hearts in January.
Aberdeen youngsters Kevin Hanratty and Kieran Ngwenya joined before the loan deadline on March 31 and, with long-term injuries to regulars Harry Milne and Jamie Masson, could well see regular game-time.
Hartley said: “It’s all experience for these young ones when they go back, to say they can handle playing in a tough league against experienced players.
“For them it’s getting all the experience they can here and going back to their clubs ready to push on.
“We’re at the top end of such a top league. You’ve seen the results the other night – they’re going to be like that between now and the end of the season. Only one team won and the others drew.
“It’s been a strange season, but these lads are coming into a team with a lot of good quality. Every game is so vital between now and the end of the season.”
As well as missing Masson and Milne, Hartley also has doubts over Mitch Megginson and Leighton McIntosh for today’s visit of Dumbarton.
He added: “Hopefully we can get them back. It’ll be a late decision on the two of them. We’ve just got to be careful.
“We always said we’d have to use the squad. Certain players will have to play certain games and that’s just the way it’ll be between now and the end of the season.
“Dumbarton are well-organised. I went down to see them against Aberdeen and Gordon (Young, assistant manager) went down last midweek. Jim has always got his teams well-organised.
“They’re fighting for every point. Every team has got something to play for, so it’s not an easy game. They’ve had a tough run of games; they’ve been playing Tuesday nights, Thursday nights, Saturdays.
“We’re at home, so the onus is on us.”