Mitch Megginson knows Jamie Masson is after his goalscoring crown.
But the Cove Rangers skipper believes the in-house rivalry can help drive both players and the team forward to success.
Megginson tops the League 2 charts with 18 goals this season. Fraserburgh-born Masson, however, is third on the list with 12, scoring six in his last seven games and chasing down his team-mate in the goal stakes.
“He keeps telling me he’s going to catch me in the goals tally,” said Megginson. “He’s close, but not close enough.
“It’s part and parcel of playing football, it’s good to have that bit of banter internally and we gee each other on. Myself and Jamie went about six or seven games where we were scoring every single game.
“But at the end of the day, it’s all about the team winning.
“I’m sure if Jamie does win it, he’ll throw a party for everyone in the Broch!”
Megginson and Masson were colleagues at Aberdeen in their early careers and the league’s leading scorer says the latter’s form has been impressive during this campaign.
He added: “He has been excellent so far. Sometimes you don’t see him for 10 minutes then he does a bit of magic – then he’s on it. “He’s got that in his locker and has all the attributes to do well.”
A calf injury had kept Megginson out of the line-up for two games, prior to his return for the 2-0 win over Queen’s Park on Saturday – a game in which both red-hot attackers netted.
Megginson, 27, picked up the injury issue in the warm-up ahead of the 3-0 defeat to Elgin City.
Of how he plans to avoid such problems going forward, he said: “It’s just about taking a bit more care with my body, doing the warm-up properly and not just firing balls about.
“With the game (away at Stirling Albion) being off on Tuesday, it’s maybe not a bad thing as two games in three days might have had an effect.
“Because I’ve had that full-time experience, I’ve always looked after myself well. It might be a case of using the ice bath more after games, committing to that.
“If you want to extend your playing career, you have to look after your body. At the end of the day it’s your own career.”
Cove return to the scene of their first league defeat on Friday, when they head to Ochilview to face Stenhousemuir.
That 3-2 defeat in October was the last game in the first quarter of fixtures.
Megginson added: “Stenny are a good side. They have strengthened in January and taken in boys that have been round the leagues for a number of years.
“At times away from home, we’re needing to be more dogged and streetwise, perhaps not being so gung-ho and attacking. At times we need to take a bit of pressure and hit them on the counter-attack.”