Peterhead boss Jim McInally believes the standard of football in League One is on the rise - because clubs further up the chain are tightening their belts.
The Blue Toon manager says he has noticed a difference since returning to a higher level following last season’s promotions.
In theory Peterhead’s yo-yo status of recent seasons should make it easier for them to adjust to the demands of a higher level - and with a haul of eight points from their first five games they have made a decent start.
But McInally says the quality of the league has gone up - and puts that down to players dropping down the leagues because of budgetary pressures at full-time clubs in the top divisions.
He said: “I would say that since the last time we were in it there’s definitely been a step up and I think I would put that down to the fact that there’s more players dropping down the league because there’s fewer players because the squads are getting cut a wee bit by the top teams with the financial situations at football clubs.
“There’s players moving down the leagues and you can tell with the results in the Betfred Cup and the Challenge Cup.
“I was at Montrose against Partick on Saturday and Partick were better but Montrose could still have caused them a lot of problems.
“I think the gap is closing to the top teams because there’s a better level of player coming down the way.”