Manager Jim McInally says Aidan Smith has a big role to play for Peterhead – even if it’s not in his natural position.
The striker joined the Blue Toon from Annan Athletic this summer.
The 22-year-old hit 14 goals for the Galabankies last term, but this campaign he has yet to score.
One of the reasons for that is that in his nine appearances for the Buchan outfit he has mainly been used out wide by McInally because of his pace.
Ahead of facing Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park on Saturday, McInally said: “Aidan has had a bit of a raw deal with us so far because he’s been played out of position.
“We’re in a league where we need to look and play every game on its merits.
“Aidan has such energy and pace that we have been using him in the wider areas.
“When he hasn’t played we’ve lacked his legs. When we went down to 10 men against Stranraer (2-1 on August 31) we had Aidan and Ben Armour who were able to do that wee bit extra for us because of their energy.
“People say maybe Aidan needs a goal to get him going – but it’s hard for him when he’s been playing as a striker out wide.
“I know he would like to be through the middle, but I know he is enjoying playing.
“Aidan will have a big task on Saturday because Raith will have a lot of the ball and the full-backs will push on.
“He’ll have to deal with that and also help to spring counter-attacks because he’s very good at getting us up the park quickly.
“Am I looking for him to kick on? I would like him to get a goal, but I’m pleased with what he’s doing and his energy and honesty will help keep him in the team.”
McInally also hopes to have striker Derek Lyle and utility man Jamie Stevenson back from hamstring problems for the trip to Fife.
The Balmoor gaffer is pleased to have two of his most experienced players back in contention, but won’t take undue risks with them.
He added: “Derek Lyle is fine after his hamstring injury and I’ve got a decision to make on Saturday.
“Rory McAllister is suspended and Derek has been out for four weeks.
“I could start with Ben Armour or Aidan up front and they have done well.
“I know because of the time Derek has been out that if I start with him I won’t finish with him.
“Last Friday in our bounce game against Brechin normally I would have played Jamie Stevenson for longer than 45 minutes.
“But I felt I needed to manage him because the attitude is that they always want to play and sometimes you need to protect them and it’s the same with Derek.
“I’ll decide closer to the game whether Derek and Jamie start or come on.
“Jamie had no reaction from Friday and trained well on Tuesday so he should be back in contention.”