Caithness head coach Ewen Boyd hopes his men can put their heaviest defeat of the season behind them when they host Carrick in National 3 tomorrow.
A youthful Thurso outfit suffered a bruising 114-0 defeat by Ardrossan Academicals in Ayrshire, inflicting a severe dent in their points difference.
Although Marc Anderson and Evan Sutherland are sidelined with long-term injuries expected to keep them out until February, Caithness are boosted by the return of several players including skipper Grant Anderson, Mark McKenzie and Kevin Budge.
Boyd hopes to show last weekend’s crushing defeat was a one-off.
He said: “I think last week was a perfect storm. We had people with work commitments, injuries and family commitments – there were 25 players unavailable. I have to give credit to the people that stepped in. We were still able to go down there and field a team. This week will be a different kettle of fish.
“We just have to try and look for the positives and try to build on that for this week.
“Although we still have some long-term injuries, we will have different personnel involved this week.
“Marc is a hard one to take as he was just back from injury, and likewise with Evan.
“We have got boys that can step in, so we are confident. There are more experienced people available this week. We’ve just go to try and use that experience to try and put last week behind us.”
The visit of bottom club Carrick provides Caithness with an opportunity to create a bigger gap at the foot of the table, with five points currently separating the sides.
Boyd added: “We are looking forward to taking Carrick up here. I hate to use the cliches, but we will just take one game at a time and build on it.
“A lot of it will be determined by weather conditions. There is a forecast for heavy rain, but I’m confident the pitch will be up to it – although it will still not be at its best.”