Formartine United’s Jonny Smith says they can’t be downbeat as attempt to return to winning ways against Buckie Thistle.
The Pitmedden side meet the Jags at North Lodge after being on the end of a 4-1 reverse to Brechin City in midweek.
But having won four of their first six Breedon Highland League fixtures, striker Smith is keen to be optimistic ahead of facing Buckie.
He said: “We’ve got a positive changing room. Paul (Lawson) and Russell (Anderson) have told us that we’ve rode our luck at times with a smaller squad, but we’ve come out of it and done well.
“We can’t get too down about. We’ve got a great opportunity against Buckie to turn it round again and continue the positive start to the season we had.”
Injuries have had an impact
Formartine have been hit by a number of injuries already this term.
The likes of Stuart Anderson, Aaron Norris, Kieran Lawrence and Daniel Park have all spent time on the sidelines, but Smith says younger members of the United squad have stepped up well.
He added: “The young lads who have come in – some have maybe been forced to come in through injury – have done really well.
“The lads that will come back in will strengthen the team but I think it’s shown that it’s not a given they’ll be playing.
“It’s good to see that the experienced players will have to fight to get back into the team.
“It was great to see Daniel Park back on the pitch on Wednesday and there’s more to come.”
No excuses for the Jags
Meanwhile, Buckie boss Graeme Stewart has Hamish Munro, Scott Adams and Adam MacLeod struggling with injury, while Lewis Dunbar has stopped playing and Lyall Booth – who had been signed on a short-term deal – has left the club.
However, he says that’s no excuse for his side who performed impressively when drawing with league leaders Fraserburgh on Wednesday.
Subs Callum Murray, Kyle MacLeod and Marcus Goodall all made an impact and Stewart says they could start.
He said: “I thought the three subs that went on against Fraserburgh were outstanding.
“That gives me something to think about when it comes to freshening it up for Formartine.
“But the boys that started did very well also, of all 14 players that were involved there was nobody below a seven out of 10.
“They were all outstanding and that’s all I can ask for.
“I’ve said this is the best squad I’ve had since I became manager and we’ll battle on.
“This team doesn’t look for excuses, it would be easy for me to give them some, but they battle on.
“We know it will be a hard game against Formartine.”
Unbeaten records at stake at Christie Park
Elsewhere, Huntly and Rothes – who are both unbeaten in the league – meet at Christie Park.
The Speysiders have won two and drawn three, but are without Jack Brown, Aidan Wilson, Gary Kerr, Wayne Mackintosh, Ewan Neil, Paul Macleod, Iain Mackenzie and Adam Crichton.
The Black and Golds have won three and drawn three.
However, manager Allan Hale hopes they can be more ruthless against Rothes having let leads slip to draw with Keith and Deveronvale in the last week.
He said: “We’ve been creating plenty of chances and we have good attacking flair in our team.
“Defensively we’ve been pretty solid apart from against Deveronvale.
“Rothes are a different challenge with quality all over the pitch. It’s a very difficult game.
“There’s been disappointment in our last two games. But we’re six games unbeaten so we’ve got to be relatively satisfied with the start.”
Deveronvale make the trip to Harmsworth Park without Aaron Hamilton, Robert Allan, Courtney Cooper, Robert Scott and Kyle Willox.
The Scorries will be without Ross Allan due to suspension.