Jason Brown says he needs to handle the responsibility of being Peterhead’s senior centre-back and repay manager Jim McInally’s faith.
With Scott Hooper out for at least the next five weeks due to glandular fever it leaves Brown as the Blue Toon’s most experienced centre-back for the League One run-in.
Last week McInally backed the 23-year-old to take on the mantle as the Buchan outfit look to move away from the drop zone – they currently sit just two points above Forfar in the relegation play-off spot.
Brown, who is gearing up to face Raith Rovers at Balmoor on Saturday, is eager to repay his gaffer’s belief in him.
The stopper said: “If I’ve got extra responsibility it’s something I want to take on and handle it.
“I need to mature as a player and keep working hard to help the team – and hopefully I can do that.
“It’s good to hear the manager saying I have an important role to play.
“But I need to fulfill that role out on the pitch and hopefully I can help the team start picking up some results.
“It’s good to hear the comments, but it’s about results. I need to do the talking on a Saturday and repay the manager’s faith.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge in the run-in. It is a big loss for us that Scott (Hooper) is out.
“We’re all wishing him a quick recovery because he’s a good player and a good guy.
“But the football continues and we need to adjust to not having him in the team and find a way to get results.”
Cammy Eadie, 22, and 20-year-old Luc Bollan are Peterhead’s other central defensive options.
Aberdeen loanee Bollan has lined up alongside Brown in the Blue Toon’s last three matches and the latter believes they can form a good partnership in the remaining nine games.
Brown can also see similarities between himself and Bollan. When playing full-time with Inverness Caley Thistle, Brown spent time on loan with Arbroath and Cove Rangers.
He added: “Me and Luc have had a couple of games together now and we’re understanding each other’s games.
“He’s said that playing in League One has been a step up for him, but he’s done fine.
“Me and all the boys will try to help him along because we know he’s a good player.
“I see similarities between Luc and me. I was in the same position to him.
“You’re at a full-time club and trying to make it in senior football and it can be tough.
“Luc’s got a good chance with us and hopefully he can put in some good performances and as a team we can get some good results.”