UPBEAT Kilwinning Rangers manager Chris Strain is hopeful his side can compete at the top end of the Premier Division after moving within a point of the Ardagh Glass League Cup quarter-finals.

A draw at home to Largs Thistle tonight (Wednesday) will almost certainly take Buffs into the last eight, ahead of Saturday's home Premier Division opener against Cumnock.

They drew 2-2 at Beith in a tie on Saturday, leaving the Garnock Valley side facing an uphill struggle to qualify.

The boss said: "We are progressing in the manner I would like us to do and I think there is more to come from us. There is competition for places, I don't want to be cracking whips but the players are doing it themselves because they want to be in the team. If everyone does the right things they will come to the fore.

"I was pleased with our performance at Beith, I felt we did well against a very good side. A draw against Largs will take us through but I want to win so we can win the group and we would have home advantage, probably against Irvine Vics in the quarter-finals and if we got through that we would be at home again.

"We look forward to the Cumnock game and want to get off to a good start as we didn't last season. Cumnock are a very good side, did very well last season and the manager John McKeown has them playing well so it will be tough. But we are going out to win the game. My main aim is to try and get us into the top six but my ambitions go far beyond that."

Meanwhile striker David Winters, signed from Pollok in the summer, is enjoying life at Abbey Park.

He said: "I am just happy to help and improve the team. It's hard to gauge how we will do in the league but everyone works hard together and that's what you need. I like the style of football we play, it's attacking football. But we must also make sure we defend well."