He may be Inverurie Locos’ record scorer – but Neil Gauld has been motivated to prove himself to manager Richard Hastings.
The striker, who is set to feature in the second v third Breedon Highland League clash against Brechin City at Harlaw Park, has scored in the Railwaymen’s last two games.
Gauld has been pleased to show he can still contribute to the Inverurie cause following Hastings’ arrival in August.
The 34-year-old, who has bagged 280 Locos goals, said: “When the manager first came in I was coming back from injury and struggling a bit and wasn’t getting a look in.
“But after getting a bit fitter he’s seen what I can do in training, so hopefully I start getting regular games.
“I’ve proved I can score. We’ve won the last two games and I’ve scored in both so hopefully that can continue.
“When the new manager came in it was a clean slate for everyone and he’s given everyone a chance.
“He wanted to have a look at what he had and I’ve definitely had to prove myself to him.
“He challenged me to get fitter and prove myself at training and I think I’ve done that.
“We’ve got very good young attacking players and they’re going to be fitter than me.
“They push me on, but I try to help them as best I can.
“I’m there to play and the better players we’ve got, the harder I’ve got work to get a game.
“It’s not a given that I’ll play and even at my age, and with my record, I’ve still got to prove myself every week.”
Hedgemen eyeing second spot
Brechin have won their last five matches and could leapfrog Inverurie into second in the table with a win.
Boss Andy Kirk added: “Consistency is the key in terms of performances.
“We’re not going to play well every week, but if we go about our business in the right way and keep that going we’ll get more results that we want.
“That’s going to be vital to us over the course of a season.
“It’s about continually trying to win games and see where that leaves us at the end of the season.
“It’s important to try to beat the teams roundabout you. Inverurie are sitting second in the league.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, but we feel we’re in a good place to meet the challenge head on.”
Wick expect Brora backlash in derby
Elsewhere, Wick Academy manager Gary Manson expects to face a fired-up Brora Rangers side in the north derby at Harmsworth Park.
The Cattachs were beaten in the North of Scotland Cup final by Rothes on Saturday.
Manson said: “We just need to get organised and get ready for what is bound to be a bit of backlash from Brora.
“They would have gone into that cup final as favourites and they would have been disappointed not to win it.
“I’m fully expecting a reaction from them and for them to be firing on all cylinders.
“We will need to be at our best to take anything from the game.”
Brora manager Craig Campbell added: “It’s good to have a game so quickly because it gives the players a chance to put things right.
“We’ll be looking for a reaction after the second half performance, I did think we played some decent stuff in the first half.
“It was the old cliche of a game of two halves, hopefully the boys can react well against Wick in what is always a tough game for us.”
Jags and Can-Cans meet
Elsewhere, Buckie Thistle and Forres Mechanics meet in a Moray derby at Victoria Park.
The Jags are without Declan Milne and Adam MacLeod, while the Can-Cans are missing Joe Gauld, Jack Grant, Gordon McNab, Thomas Brady, Robbie Duncanson and Callum Johnston.