Peterhead manager Jim McInally says that Scottish Cup opponents Kelty Hearts targeting Barry Ferguson as their new manager shows their ambition.
The Blue Toon will face the Lowland League team from Fife on Saturday at Balmoor in the second round.
Following Tam Courts’ resignation Kelty have been searching for a new boss and are reported to have been in talks with former Rangers and Scotland captain Ferguson.
Buchan boss McInally watched the Jambos in their 3-2 defeat to East Stirlingshire on Saturday and is impressed by the club’s ambition.
He said: “They have been linked with Barry Ferguson and I think that shows you the scale of their ambition.
“They were away from home on Saturday so I haven’t seen their ground and the size of crowds they get.
“But I’m told it’s top drawer for the level they are at.
“I saw on Saturday that they had a lot of good players and although they lost 3-2 to East Stirlingshire it was a really good game.
“They are a club that fancies itself to jump through the leagues and if they’re going for Barry they are trying to raise the profile of the club and attract more people to the club.”
McInally was impressed with Kelty, who top the Lowland League despite their defeat at the weekend.
He added: “Whether Barry is in charge or not, they will be fired up and I saw that on Saturday.
“It will be a game on Saturday where our players will need to match their aggression and commitment because they’re not scared to put their foot in.
“On top of that they have players like Stephen Husband and others who have played at a good level and are good footballers.
“We need to be mindful of that to make sure that we match them.”
Saturday’s tie will be the first time Kelty have played in the second round.
Peterhead reached round four last season and McInally is keen to make progress in the competition again this term.
He said: “The reality is that we’re not going to win but we still want to do well in it.
“It always excites you when you’re in the Scottish Cup and we should be as excited as Kelty.
“I know they haven’t gone this far before, but we’ve got to make sure we are aware of what could be ahead of us if we win a couple of ties and get into the fourth round.
“From the financial side of it, there is always good prize money so from all aspects it’s a massive game for us.”