Elgin City manager Gavin Price feels his players are thriving on the pressure of securing a League 2 promotion play-off spot.
The Black and Whites host Cowdenbeath in a crucial fixture at Borough Briggs tonight, after moving fourth courtesy of Saturday’s 3-1 home win over Stirling Albion.
Tonight’s opponents are third in the table, just a point ahead of City, and Price feels his side is relishing the key games which will determine the Moray outfit’s play-off hopes.
Price said: “We said to the players at the start of the season that we wanted to get to March and be playing in games that matter.
“It adds excitement for the players and supporters. We have done that, so the next stage is to hopefully try and cement that place in the top four.
“This game gives us a great opportunity to do that, but we still have a long way to go. Each game gets more and more important as the weeks tick by.
“I think we have enjoyed the cup games this year. Our league form was good in the first half of the year, but we just weren’t picking up the results that went with the performances.
“In the second half of the season we have been doing that, so hopefully that continues.
“We certainly can’t get blaze about it – this is the crunch time now that we are into the last nine games.
“March and April are when league positions can be decided. We have got ourselves into a good position, and it’s important we now kick on try to make sure we get that place in the play-offs.”
Elgin will be without left back Euan Spark, who suffered a recurrence of a previous knee injury during Saturday’s victory.
Price is boosted by the return to fitness of leading scorer Shane Sutherland following a hamstring injury, however the Elgin boss insists he faces tough competition after fellow attackers Smart Osadolor and Kane Hester found the net against the Binos.
Price added: “There were a few guys disappointed not to be playing on Saturday, but we need everybody in the squad to stick together.
“There are guys that have been playing well who were out of the team on Saturday, and that’s a great position for a manager to be in.
“I have to make harsh choices, but it’s a great position for the squad to be in because everybody is pushing each other on.
“People know they have got to perform if they are going to keep their place in the team.
“There’s great armoury on the bench, which we used to good effect with Matthew Cooper, Rabin Omar and Shane Sutherland coming on.
“There are other guys sitting on that bench who are more than capable of starting as well.
“It has come at a good time.”