Harry Milne has hailed the defensive options available to Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley.
After testing out the formula at the end of last season, Hartley has stuck with Scott Ross at right-back and a centre-back pairing of Dan Higgins and Ryan Strachan at the start of the new campaign.
Milne completes the quartet at right-back, with the main change seeing Ross shift from centre-half, where he played most of last season, to a full-back role he played more often in his youth days with Aberdeen.
Hartley has also brought in Adam Livingstone from Motherwell, who can play at left-back or left-midfield, and young centre-back Ross Graham on loan from Dundee United.
“Scott is a great player. He can play both positions – he’s very comfortable in both – but the management team feel we’re better with him at right-back. He’s a great defender first and foremost; I’ve never seen anyone beat him one-on-one and he’s adding going forward into his game,” Milne said.
“Higgy is a great player and (Ryan) Strachan has great experience and is fantastic on the ball. Ross Graham is a fantastic addition as well, so we’ve got great options back there.
By virtue of Ross playing at right-back, it has allowed Blair Yule to return to his favoured midfield position to compensate for Fraser Fyvie’s early-season knee injury.
“I think he prefers it a bit further forward,” Milne said. “You can see the energy he’s got and it’s great for us that he’s able to go box-to-box and get round the pitch. It makes us more energetic… we always want to work harder than the opposition.
“With (Fraser) Fyvie being out as well, it’s allowed him to move back into central midfield, whereas he was maybe out right before. He seems to be really enjoying it.”
The Aberdeen outfit have started the season in positive fashion in League One, having played their first competitive game in seven months against Hibernian in the Betfred Cup just a fortnight ago.
Milne said: “I’m used to winning – most of the team is – and that’s the sort of the mentality we’ve got in the squad. Just because we’ve gone up a league, we don’t want that to change. If we go into every game thinking we can get a result, that’s a starting point.
“Hibs had basically their strongest available team going forward. You saw the game we gave them and I thought we were a bit unlucky not to get a point from that.
“We had a great home record last year – we didn’t even draw a game at home last year – so we want to keep that going. To be anywhere near where we want to be this year, we have to keep that home record as strong as possible.”