Peterhead boss Jim McInally is backing his side to start the season with a bang by upsetting League One title favourites Falkirk.
The Blue Toon return to Scottish football’s third tier after two seasons away with the Bairns visiting Balmoor tomorrow.
Ray McKinnon’s side were relegated from the Championship last season.
They’ve signed players with Premiership experience such as Conor Sammon, Morgaro Gomis and Cammy Bell in a bid to return back to the second tier this season.
Falkirk have been installed as the bookmakers’ favourites to win League One, but McInally reckons his team are capable of springing a surprise on the day they will be presented with the flag for winning League Two last term.
The Peterhead gaffer said: “Falkirk have brought in a lot of big names and I think they’re fully expecting to win the league.
“They’re under the pressure we were under in League Two for the last couple of seasons.
“We know how that pressure feels and hopefully we can add to that tomorrow and put pressure of them right from the start of the season.
“It will be a brilliant day for us. Falkirk have sold over 600 tickets.
“That could still increase, there will be a good crowd and we’ll be presented with our flag, so it will be a nice day for us.
“People can say what they want about the game, but I know if we play well we’ll run them close or beat them regardless of the players they’ve got.
“We need to be near our best and not give anything away like we did against Raith Rovers last week in the League Cup.”
Boss McInally was encouraged by their Betfred Cup campaign as they beat Cove Rangers (2-1), drew 0-0 with Inverness Caley Thistle and Dundee before losing 4-1 to Raith Rovers.
Now he’s hoping they can lay down a marker in the first league game of the season.
Scotland’s longest-serving manager added: “Of course it would be nice to set a standard and that’s what it’s about.
“Even from the start of the Betfred Cup it’s been about trying to lay down markers.
“In the two home games against Cove and Inverness we didn’t want to lose.
“You want to make your home venue a tough place for visiting teams.
“I’ve always said that points you can get early in the season are worth double what you get later in the season. I’ve always believed that because as the season goes on it gets tougher and tougher.
“So a good start in the opening weeks would be good, but I do think we’re a team that’s capable of going on a run at some point in the season.
“But I would like to lay down a marker right away.
“The performance against Inverness in the League Cup was probably as good as I’ve had in nearly eight years at the club.”
Peterhead are without suspended captain Rory McAllister and defender Scott Hooper is missing with an ankle problem.
The Blue Toon hope to have new goalie Lenny Wilson in the squad, provided he receives international clearance.