Elgin City manager Gavin Price is not hiding from the fact Saturday’s League Two showdown against fellow strugglers Cowdenbeath is “a six-pointer”.
The Black and Whites are not where anyone would have tipped them to be, sitting second bottom of the division, only three points better off than the visitors.
While Elgin are without a win in six fixtures, the Blue Brazil are in dire need to a lift, having not won a league match since beating the Moray men 3-1 back in August.
Cowden have recently appointed former Motherwell coach Maurice Ross as the man to take them forward after parting company with Gary Bollan.
In their Fife derby last week, the basement boys put up a strong showing against leaders and title favourites Kelty Hearts, losing to a second half goal from former Ross County winger Joe Cardle.
Elgin, who were pipped last term in the promotion play-offs by Edinburgh City, are 10 points behind fourth-placed Annan after their first 11 fixtures, albeit with a game in hand.
Pressure on Elgin for Cowden clash
Price is adamant his group will turn the corner and drive City up the table, but acknowledges the importance of taking on a team just below them at the wrong end of the table.
He said: “Let’s not kid ourselves on. It’s a big game in terms of where we are in the season and it’s important we treat is as such.
“It’s an opportunity for us to get points on the board. Hopefully we can give ourselves a little bit of daylight, although it is still early days in the season. We’re only 11 games in.
“We just need to focus on what we can do. It is the proverbial six-pointer. We’re down near the bottom of the league right now.
Main striker Kane Hester is back from injury for Elgin City.
“It is still early days in the season, but we will treat this as the big game it is on paper.”
New boss reaction no shock to Price
Price has studied their opponents’ efforts against Kelty and was not surprised to see a spirited display under new boss Ross.
He added: “I have watched footage of Cowdenbeath’s game last week and they managed to keep it tight for large parts of the game. You usually get a reaction from players when a new manager comes in.
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) November 10, 2021
“However, given the group of players we’ve got and how close we’ve been, there are plenty of games for us to turn this around.
“We just need to find form and be consistent over 90 minutes. I am quite confident we will find our form sooner rather than later.”
Hester and McHardy return for City
Elgin are boosted by the return of their main forward, Kane Hester, who has been out since the middle of September with a hamstring injury. He will most likely be limited to a 30-minute appearance, but his comeback is timely nonetheless.
Defender Darryl McHardy also returns to the team after being sidelined with illness as Elgin look as close to full strength as they have been for some time.
Having spoken about the importance of having Hester back earlier this week, Price said of McHardy: “Darryl is a big player for us and is a threat in both boxes for us.”