Elgin City captain Jamie Duff believes the increased competition for places is behind the club’s surge up League 2.
The Black and Whites have taken 19 points from a possible 24 to move from the bottom of the league up to seventh place, seven points clear of bottom club Montrose, who have played three games more.
Duff insists the mood at the club has changed drastically since Jim Weir arrived in November.
He said: “The competition for places now is fierce and with the injured players all returning everyone is on their toes. We know if the level drops there are quality guys waiting to take our place in the team.
“We would have been delighted at the thought of being in this position half a dozen games ago but it’s a measure of how much everything has changed at the club.
“Since the manager came in he has given everyone a new way of looking at things and everyone is working hard.
“We’re keeping clean sheets, winning games, the loan players who have come in have done well, and we’re playing well.”
A hard-fought 1-0 win against Berwick Rangers on Tuesday helped City move level with Berwick and with a trip to second-placed Arbroath looming today Duff hopes the club can continue to reel in the teams above it in the division.
He said: “We’ve still got a couple of games in hand and if we can maintain this we shouldn’t be looking behind us any more.
“It is not going to be easy to keep our run going and we will have setbacks but if we keep pushing for the rest of the season I don’t see why we cannot continue to move up the table.
“I hadn’t played a lot before the manager came in but we seem to have a settled team again and if we can stay injury-free who knows what will happen? But no one here is getting carried away. We’re taking it one game at a time.”
Right back Matthew Cooper is rated doubtful for the trip to Gayfield after suffering an ankle injury in Tuesday’s win at Borough Briggs.