Harry Milne feels the Cove Rangers squad have shown they can handle the step up to League 2.
Several members of the league-leaders’ squad – including Milne – had not played SPFL football prior to the Aberdeen side making their league bow at the start of the season.
However, players like Scott Ross, Mitch Megginson and Blair Yule, who have previous league experience, plus the addition of senior professionals like Fraser Fyvie and Fraser Aird, have seen Cove soar to the top of the table.
They have been beaten just once in the league this season and take their form on the road to Annan Athletic on Saturday.
Milne said: “Boys like Fraser Fyvie and Fraser Aird have come in with different experience from the top level.
“Then the quality of the young guys, like Declan Glass, has shown in the goals he’s scored this season.
“It compliments the guys who are already here.
“Those of us that were here have stepped up and no one has shied away from the challenge.
“The quickness of the game has been the main thing for me. Every team in this league can cause you problems and punish your mistakes.
“In the Highland League, at times there were games going in you knew you were going to win. But this year it’s different.”
Cove face their longest journey of the season on Saturday, with a 430-mile round-trip to the Borders to take on the Galabank outfit.
Annan are fourth in the table but lost their last league game to Stirling Albion and were eliminated from the Scottish Cup last weekend by Edinburgh City.
Milne added: “In recent weeks there have been a lot of teams sitting in against us but I don’t think they will, just with the form they are in.
“The quality we have in the final third, we’re going to create chances.
“For the last few weeks, the opposition goalkeeper has been man of the match so for us, it’s been a case of sticking with it.
“To an extent it’s given me more freedom but I need to remember my responsibility first and foremost is as a defender.
“I scored three in my first two games and would have maybe liked to have one or two more but I’m still playing well and creating opportunities.”