Peterhead assistant boss Davie Nicholls says tonight’s clash with Raith Rovers is about striking a balance between chasing Betfred Cup progress and continuing preparations for league business.
The Blue Toon go to Stark’s Park hoping a win and a total of nine points will be enough to get them out of Group D.
There will be some changes from Saturday’s draw with full-time Dundee, as the coaching staff try to get the whole squad sufficient minutes.
In this year’s Betfred Cup, promoted Peterhead have laid a solid foundation for their League One opener against Falkirk at Balmoor on August 3.
They beat Cove and drew with Championship side Inverness Caley Thistle, before beating the Highlanders on penalties, ahead of the Dundee result.
Nicholls said: “It’s been good, the guys have really stuck to the task and everything we’ve asked them to do.
“Against Cove it was a good test. They came up and had spent quite a bit of money, and we got a good result.
“We made a few errors. These things happen early on in the season, but the boys were able to fight back and win.
“Then cracking draws against the two full-time teams in the Championship who are expected to gain automatic promotion.”
On going for it at Stark’s Park tonight, but also rotating in the likes of Mick Dunlop and Willie Gibson, Nicholls added: “We’ll have a go. The way we’re sitting in the table we need to try to get the win.
“Raith Rovers are a full-time team as well – they’ll be expected to do well in our league as well.
“We need to build on what the guys have done so far in the other games, we’ve worked really hard.
“We’ve done that (rotated). After the terrific performance against Inverness Caley, we stuck with the same team.
“But the coaching staff all believe everybody needs the time, so they’re ready for firing from the first league game of the season.
“That’s how we use this cup. Of course, as much as you want to progress in it and do well, you want to give everybody match time and get fitness levels up.”
Captain Rory McAllister will be left out tonight after hurting his hamstring on Saturday and Nicholls says the players have been told not to put themselves at risk before the league games begin.
He said: “He’ll be out a couple of weeks. He didn’t pull it or anything, he’s just tweaked his hamstring.
“He came off at the right time. We’ve said to everybody, if you feel anything else at all let us know and we’ll get you off.
“It’s just for protection. Everybody’s worked really hard in pre-season to get themselves in terrific shape.
“The last thing we want is for them to pick up an injury.”
Nicholls doesn’t think the Blue Toon’s fast start to the campaign has changed his opinion on what they can achieve in League One, because he always thought the League Two champions were better suited to the higher tier.
He said: “I thought we were a better League One team.
“It might sound daft, but I think you get a bit more time to play.
“Teams allow you to play a bit more in League One and it was just about us getting out of League Two as quickly as we could.
“Our aim is to stay up. We do have other aims and we will have a go this year.”