Peterhead manager Jim McInally admitted his players will need to “step up a level” in order to challenge for the Scottish League 1 title this year.
Speaking after his side’s 2-1 defeat to East Fife in the Betfred Cup on Saturday, the Blue Toon Boss said he is expecting a tough season.
“The first division is going to be very competitive.” Said McInally.
“If we are to have another decent season we are going to have to step up a level and that is what I told the players on Saturday.
“I like the format of the League Cup this season but I thought Jim McIntyre made a good comment when he said that we should have five substitutes instead of three.
“That would allow you to give more players game time this early in season and that’s why I made some changes today.
“The biggest thing is not being allowed trialists which may be to do with the television deal where listing say five trialist might not look good.
“I’m assuming that as it doesn’t benefit the clubs and hopefully they will look at that for next season.
“The draw is set up to favour the big clubs who never played last midweek where as the smaller sides did”
Meanwhile, Peterhead have received another boost to their defensive options.
Republic of Ireland youth international Fiacre Kelleher was due to sign on a season long loan from Scottish Champions Celtic last night (Monday).
Kelleher joined Celtic in December 2012 and initially settled into the U17s squad.
The Irishman has since made a claim for a regular place in the Development Squad, making his first start at home to St Johnstone last season.
Kelleher is a youth internationalist with the Republic of Ireland and has represented them at U15s and U17s level.
He is expected to go straight into the squad for tonight’s visit of Dundee in the Betfred Cup.
Peterhead will need to win the match to have any realistic chance of qualifying from the group.