Grant Campbell believes Fraserburgh’s mentality will be crucial as they try to remain at the top of the Breedon Highland League.
The Broch – who top the table – take on second-placed Inverurie Locos in an eagerly anticipated clash at Harlaw Park.
In their last fixture the Buchan side recovered from 3-0 down to beat Brechin City.
Midfielder Campbell helped Cove Rangers win the title in 2016, 2018 and 2019 and he sees similarities between those sides and the Fraserburgh squad which is currently five points clear at the summit.
The 32-year-old said: “There’s certainly a similar level of ability and a similar level of desire.
“I think the desire is the biggest thing that I see in the two squads, this Fraserburgh squad and the Cove squad I was part of.
“That’s critical to trying to win the Highland League. You will find yourself in spots of bother and I believe how you deal with those situations is very important.
“The tests come when you have to get out of spots of bother. At Cove we were very efficient at doing that and with the spirit at Fraserburgh it’s similar.
“You don’t want to get into too many spots of bother like we did at Brechin when we were 3-0 down. But it was a character test that was passed.
“We’ve got 16 hard games to go and we need to minimise the numbers of holes we fall into, but from time to time you will be in a hole.
“But the character of the group, the spirit and the enthusiasm can certainly help get out of that.”
Locos boss relishes title challenge
Meanwhile, Inverurie manager Richard Hastings is relishing the opportunity to be in the mix challenging for the title.
He added: “If you ask the question to any of the managers in the top seven I think they’d say yes they can win it.
“Any of the teams could win it. It’s so tightly packed and with every set of results somebody can go up and somebody can go down.
“For us it’s just about concentrating on what we do and focusing on beating the teams in front of us each week.
“I’d imagine all the managers would say the same – you have to feel that you’re in with a chance.
“And for us if we can win the games in front of us and keep picking up points then we give ourselves a chance.
“Fraserburgh have got a lead and have games in hand on ourselves.
“But throughout January and February all the teams at the top end seem to be playing each other.
“So there’s going to be points dropped and really you just have to see carnage that goes on around you and try to sift through it and pick up points.”
News from around the Highland League
Elsewhere, Nairn County and Brora Rangers meet at Station Park. James Wallace and Millar Gamble are out for the Cattachs.
Deveronvale are missing Sam Robertson, Matthew Jamieson, Rory Davidson, Aaron Hamilton and Kevin Adams for Wick Academy’s visit to Princess Royal Park.
The Scorries travel without Alan Farquhar, Ryan Campbell, Brandon Sinclair, Sean Campbell and Jack Henry, but Steven Anderson and Graeme Williamson return.
Fergus Edwards, Fraser Forbes and Michael Weir are doubts for Lossiemouth’s meeting with Forres Mechanics at Grant Park. Paul Brindle is in contention to return for the Can-Cans.
Owen Kinsella and Kyle Gordon miss out for Turriff United’s clash with Clachnacuddin at the Haughs. Martin MacKinnon is absent for the Lilywhites but Ross Logan returns.
Jack Brown, Wayne Mackintosh and Paul Macleod are set to miss Rothes’ home game with Huntly.
Striker Brodie Allen could make his debut for the Black and Golds after signing from Lossiemouth, but Angus Grant, Colin Charlesworth, Liam MacDonald, Stuart Taylor and Alex Thoirs are sidelined.
Keith meet Strathspey Thistle at Kynoch Park.
Goalkeepers Robbie Donaldson and Michael MacCallum and defender Ewan Neil are missing for Strathspey.
Ex-Fort William custodian Ryan Hunter will be between the posts.