Boss concerned over when Lichties will return to action

editorial image

ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin fears it may be the New Year before his team can return to league action.

The Lichties were due to play Albion Rovers in Coatbridge tomorrow (Saturday) but with freezing temperatures, snow and ice, especially in the west coast, the game was postponed yesterday afternoon (Thursday).

This means it is four weeks since the Maroons last took to the field and with the big freeze set to stay, the boss believes it could be quite a few weeks before fixtures can be played.

Speaking prior to the postponement, he told HeraldSport: “I would be very surprised it tomorrow’s game against Albion Rovers goes ahead after speaking to some of the boys who live on the west coast.

“From what they told me the weather is so bad, clearing a football park is far down the list of priorities as people have other more important things to contend with.

“That will be four weeks without a game for us and if the weather stays the way it is at the moment, I could possibly see us not being able to play until New Year when we face Montrose at Links Park on their artificial surface.”

On Saturday, the Lichties were scheduled to face Stranraer at Gayfield but the decision was taken on Thursday to call of the clash.

This has now been re-arranged for Wednesday night (December 15) with a 7.45 p.m. kick-off, but Mr Sheerin thinks this game could also be in serious doubt.

He added: “It is not looking good for us to play on Wednesday night either as the temperatures are just not giving the snow enough time to thaw, even though we are desperate to play.

“I know there is a lot of debate about a winter break and it could be something that could be trialled but the problem is deciding when to have it.

“The weather can just be so unpredictable as the cold weather has come early at the end of November this year but it could be like this any time until the end of February.”

To ensure the players keep up their fitness during the cold snap, they have had to split up into three groups as travelling to their normal training venue in Perth has virtually been impossible.

But the manager hopes tomorrow his squad can all get together for the first time in over a week.

He explained: “We all trained at Soccerworld in Dundee on Saturday but since then we haven’t been able to get the full squad together.

“The west coast boys have all been ticking over with spinning organised by Marc McCulloch and Kieran McAnespie and our physio Frank Kenny has been organising training for the players based in Edinburgh.

“It isn’t ideal but there is really not much else we can do.

“If the game isn’t on tomorrow, which will probably be the case, we will all be meeting at Soccerworld again.

“One frustrating thing is that our squad is fully fit now for the first time in weeks so hopefully that will be an advantage for us when things return to normal.”