St Duthus manager Alan Geegan is confident his young side will only get better as the North Caledonian League campaign progresses.
The Tain outfit go into Saturday’s trip to Alness United with three wins from their last four games.
They staged a fine comeback last weekend to triumph 4-3 against Inverness Athletic.
That has moved them up to sixth place, with six points separating them from leaders Invergordon.
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Geegan has had to oversee a large transition in his squad since taking charge two years ago this week.
Although he is operating with a less experienced squad than previously, Geegan is excited by the potential shown by a number of his young players – including Jamie Skinner, Aaron Skinner and Alfie Mackay.
Geegan said: “It’s quite a young squad. We have lost a lot of experience since I have taken over, such as Ross Tokely, Paul Gair and James Mackay.
“The young boys have come in and they have bought into what we are trying to do.
“It’s a learning curve for them, and if they stick together they will get there.
“There’s a good blend there, but the majority of the players at the club have got their best years ahead of them.
“It’s just trying to get them to stick together. It has probably been my biggest frustration since I took over that every season – one or two think the grass is greener.
“I’ve always said that if they don’t want to be at the club, I don’t want them to be here and I will not try and convince anybody. I’m happy to persevere with what we’ve got and make the other players better.”
Geegan taking nothing for granted against bottom-placed opponents
Geegan insists he is nothing for granted at Dalmore Park, however, adding: “We have built a bit of momentum – but on their day most teams can take points off each other.
“We had two good performances against Thurso and Bonar Bridge and, with no disrespect to them, it was a step up in quality against Invergordon – but we didn’t turn up that day.
“We are definitely going in the right direction. There has been a big turnaround of players in the last wee while, but there are plenty positives.
“Pre-season was quite slow to get going, but the performances have been there.”
Halkirk move closer to pace
Halkirk United moved up to fourth place with a 2-1 triumph over Golspie Sutherland in midweek, courtesy of goals from Jonah Martens and James Mackintosh. Martin Banks pulled back a late consolation for the visitors.
The Caithness outfit are aiming to make it three wins on the bounce against Clachnacuddin reserves.
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Golspie, who have only played four league fixtures, will look to bounce back when they host Orkney.
Leaders Invergordon make the trip to Bonar Bridge, while champions Loch Ness travel to Thurso.
Fort William are also aiming to keep up pressure on the pacesetters, when they take on Inverness Athletic at Claggan Park.