Elgin City manager Gavin Price believes his side have caught up in their preparation for today’s League Two opener against Stranraer.
The Black and Whites faced disruption during pre-season when a Covid-19 outbreak among the squad halted training for 10 days.
That meant City went into the Premier Sports Cup group campaign short of match practice, however, Price has been encouraged by the way his side’s sharpness has built up over their four competitive matches.
Price said: “I think we are gradually building to where we want to be.
“Training over the last couple of weeks has definitely gone up a notch. In the second half against East Fife I felt we were more like our old selves.
“We are a bit behind where we would normally be by this stage because of the break we had, but I think a lot of teams are suffering in the same way.
“I’m a lot more confident about where we are now than I was a couple of weeks ago.”
City did not qualify from their section, but registered their only points of the group campaign last weekend when they came from behind to defeat League One side East Fife 3-2 at Bayview.
Having signed off on a high, Price feels his players should be confident ahead of the visit of the Blues.
He added: “There have been mixed performances. I thought we were really good against Arbroath surprisingly in the first game, and we started well against Dundee United, but then faded badly.
“Against Kelty Hearts, I think we faded in the gamem but our fitness looked better against East Fife on Saturday.
“We are getting close to where we should be. We have always had July 31 as the main aim, so after a couple of good training sessions this week hopefully we are ready to go.”
Midfielder Brian Cameron is likely to be unavailable, however, Price is hopeful Matthew Cooper and Archie Macphee will be fit to feature.
Stranraer are under new management this season, with Jamie Hamill replacing Stevie Farrell, who left to join Dumbarton in the summer.
Although Elgin triumphed in all three meetings last season, Price expects a difficult encounter, with both sides reaching the promotion play-offs last season.
Price added: “I watched Stranraer against Clyde in the League Cup and I was impressed with them.
“They have got a lot of flair up front, they are playing a different way and trying to play football.
“We will have to make sure we are up for the battle.”