Cove Rangers defender Harry Milne believes he thrives when tested by full-time opposition.
The left-back turned in a fine display on Wednesday as the Highland League champions held Dundee to a 0-0 draw at the Balmoral Stadium before losing 3-2 on penalties in the Betfred League Cup.
Milne enjoyed the challenge of trying to compete with the Championship’s Dark Blues.
He and his team-mates will be further tested by full-time opposition on Tuesday when they travel north to face Inverness Caley Thistle in the Highland capital and next Saturday when League One Raith Rovers are the visitors to the Granite City.
After the draw against Dundee in midweek, Milne believes demanding matches against teams from a higher level bring out the best in Cove.
He said: “I’m enjoying my football and I enjoy playing in big games against teams like Dundee.
“No disrespect to some of the teams in the Highland League but sometimes the games could be won early and you could lose concentration or focus.
“In games like Wednesday’s you can’t switch off for a second. Those are the games I prefer and I think I thrive in those games. I think all the boys in the squad are the same in that sense.”
Milne takes encouragement from the draw against Dundee into Cove’s final two Betfred Cup clashes as Paul Hartley’s team look to spring more surprises.
He added: “We’ve shown we can compete with Dundee, so there’s no reason why we can’t compete with Inverness and Raith.
“If we can compete then you never know we might be able to get something out of those games as well.
“I don’t think anybody expected us to get anything against Dundee and we did.
“The club has a plan for where it wants to be in the future.
“We won’t get too ahead of ourselves but right now it’s nice for us to know we can go and compete against teams like Dundee.”
Milne was also pleased to see new signing Daniel Higgins perform well on his debut for the club in midweek.
He said: “I thought Daniel was brilliant on Wednesday.
“He was playing inside me and we communicated a lot. He was good and did everything he had to do and covered me well when it was needed.
“He talks well and I think he’ll fit into the squad well.”
For Milne the only element of disappointment against Dundee was not earning an extra bonus point with victory in the penalty shoot-out that followed the goalless 90 minutes.
Cove were defeated 3-2 and Milne was one of three players who missed their spot-kicks.
He said: “I thought it was a good game and I thought everyone in our team was outstanding. It shows we can compete with teams like that.
“Their keeper maybe had more saves to make than ours.
“It was a shame about the penalty kicks but we were happy with the performance. We can be positive about that.
“We were disappointed with the penalties but I can’t criticise because I missed one.
“I just got underneath my penalty and, unfortunately, it went over the bar.
“We can be proud of what we got in terms of performance and the point we earned.”