Elgin City forward Craig Gunn insists the Black and Whites are ready for their first competitive match of the season when Stirling Albion visit Borough Briggs today in the first round of the Petrofac Training Cup.
City faced Stirling in the opening round of last season’s competition, falling to a 3-0 home defeat by the Binos.
Albion were relegated from League 1 last season, meaning they will be one of Elgin’s opponents in the forthcoming league campaign.
Gunn expects a much closer affair than 12 months ago and said: “We have had a couple of games in pre-season but it’s good to get back to the competitive stuff.
“We started pre-season quite early. After a few pre-season games it’s probably a good thing to start with two cup games.
“Hopefully, we can get a couple of good results in the cup games, so we start the league season with a bit of confidence.
“It will be a difficult game. Stirling have come down from the league above. It will be tough for us but we are going to try and make it difficult for any teams coming up to Elgin this season.
“We have really got to make it hard for them, as a lot of teams don’t like the journey.”
Gunn netted an eight-minute hat-trick as City defeated Hearts under-20s 5-1 last Friday in a testimonial for long-serving Elgin defender Paul Kaczan.
Gunn, 28, was Elgin’s top scorer last season with 15 goals and fellow attacker Shane Sutherland has left to join League 1 side Peterhead.
Gunn says he does not feel more pressure to carry the goalscoring burden in the absence of former Caley Thistle attacker, who netted 12 times last year.
Gunn added: “It was good to score a few goals, although it was a game for Paul and not about me. We can take confidence from how we played against Hearts.
“I haven’t really set any targets, I just want to play as many games as I can and score as many goals as possible.
“Shane will be a loss – he’s a good player. He had a big influence on the team. However, the manager has brought in some good new faces, so it’s important we concentrate on the players we have.”