Darren Dods knows Saturday’s trip to Livingston will be a massive test for his Brechin City side.
Not least because the Glebe Park outfit haven’t played a competitive game for three weeks.
But a friendly with Super League leaders Kelty Hearts last week gave his players an excellent run-out, with the boss himself managing to get an hour on the park with long-term absentee Chris O’Neill completing 45 minutes as well.
Key players Andy Jackson and James Dale won’t make the Livi game but they’re progressing well from their own respective injuries, and Dods believes that their return to the squad will be as good as two new signings.
The manager said: “The friendly was a good exercise. We had a couple of trialists playing so we had a good look at them. I got 60 minutes under my belt.
“Chris O’Neill played 45 minutes which was great. They beat us 2-0 but it was a good workout. They’re top of their league so it was a good contest at a good tempo.
“We’re not doing anything with the trialists. We were just looking but at the moment we won’t take them any further.
“We’re still progressing with players. O’Neill has been in full sessions for a week or so, so he’s back in contention for Livingston as is Darren McCormack.
“Andy Jackson and James Dale are coming along well but Livi will just be too early for them. They’re back running and James is kicking the ball but they’ll both be back soon. It’s been a while without the two of them.
“It’ll be a tough game on Saturday. They were unlucky against East Fife last week. I don’t think they’ll create that many chances without scoring again all season.
“They’ve strengthened over the window with a few players.
“It’ll be a big test. We battled hard against them down there last time, they went two up but we got some pressure on and pulled it back to 2-1.
“It’s a tough one to come back to after three weeks without a game. They’re the only team we’ve not beaten this season so it’d be great to go down there and get a result.”