Alan Redford hopes to have done enough to keep his Cove Rangers place after making his first league start of the season.
An injury to left-back Harry Milne presented veteran defender Redford with an opportunity against Edinburgh City, one he is keen to make the most of.
The 39-year-old has featured in five cup games this season, the last being the Aberdeenshire Shield defeat to Aberdeen reserves last month.
He had previously played in two games in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup and the Betfred Cup.
He admits that while his time on the sidelines has been frustrating, he wants to make the most of his chance with the League 2 leaders.
Redford: “I think anyone who’s not playing finds it frustrating.
“You’ve got a team playing really well and really good defenders in front of me. I realise I’m probably behind them in the pecking order.
“When the opportunity does arise I want to contribute and play well for myself, but more importantly to contribute to the success of the team.
“I don’t know if Harry will be back and for the sake of the team, I hope he is.
“But over the last few weeks there have been chances for guys to go in and stake a claim.
“Our fitness coach Tam (Ritchie) has us doing high-intensity training on a Tuesday, which generally speaking keeps everyone fit.
“You can never get yourself match-fit if you’re not playing – it takes a few games.”
Redford joined Cove from Huntly in 2010 and won four Highland League titles during his time with the Aberdeen side.
He has been impressed with how they have adapted to life in League 2 – their first season at this level.
He added: “I think a lot of the time our football has looked a level above (League 2).
“Some of the football we have played has been high tempo – we look to put it down and pass.
“Other teams have a lot of good players but they tend to be a bit more direct. We create opportunities by moving the ball quickly.
“The last two weeks have shown us if we’re not at our best, the quality of other teams means we’re not going to have it our own way.
“Every team you play against is a battle.
“They are all committed and everyone needs to pick up points.”
After back-to-back defeats on the road to Annan Athletic and Edinburgh City, Cove look to preserve their two-point lead at the top of the table at home to Stenhousemuir on Saturday.
MEANWHILE, Cove today announced Redford will receive a testimonial in 2020.
He joined from Huntly a decade ago and a dinner has been planned for Saturday, March 21 at Aberdeen’s Hilton Treetops Hotel and a testimonial match is also being planned.
Cove director of football John Sheran, who was Redford’s manager for the last five seasons, said: “I’m delighted Cove have agreed to recognise Alan’s professionalism and the important part he has played to help bring success to the club over the past few seasons.”