Boss finally gets his defender

PIC Gary Hutchison, 01/05/10,  FHS FALKIRK STADIUM. Falkirk v St Mirren SPL. Pictured: Chris Innes sent off for scuffle with Brian McLean.
PIC Gary Hutchison, 01/05/10, FHS FALKIRK STADIUM. Falkirk v St Mirren SPL. Pictured: Chris Innes sent off for scuffle with Brian McLean.

ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin has landed himself the centre half he has been chasing with the signing of experienced defender Chris Innes.

The boss told HeraldSport two weeks ago it was the one position within the squad he wanted to strengthen, but he was unable to bring anybody in before the transfer deadline.

But 35-year-old Innes has joined the ranks at Gayfield after being without a club since leaving Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the end of last season.

The defender can list Kilmarnock, Dundee United and St Mirren as former clubs but is probably best known for featuring in the Gretna side that made it to the Scottish Cup final in 2006.

And Mr Sheerin was delighted that Innes had decided to sign on with the Lichties.

He told HeraldSport: “He hasn’t played much recently but he is a big fit boy with a good pedigree.

“He has won titles with Gretna and also played for the likes of Kilmarnock, Livingston and Dundee United so I’m sure he can come in a do and good job until the end of the season.”

With the signing completed, the manager will be focusing his players as the Lichties look set to play six matches before the month is over.

Coming up first is a derby double header with a trip to Forfar Athletic tomorrow (Saturday) before meeting with Brechin at Glebe Park on Tuesday evening.

And the manager believes the next few weeks could really shape his team’s season.

He explained: “It is going to be a tough month with the games about to come thick and fast which is massive for us.

“It can be pretty demanding on the players having six games in three weeks but hopefully we will get a positive outcome.

“I did think the catch-up games would be more spread out rather than all crammed into February.

“But it is vital we keep hanging on to the coat tails of Cowdenbeath or even maybe get in front.”

For tomorrow’s clash the boss will be without Jordan Elfverson and ‘keeper Michael White. He will also have to make a last minute decision on Beau Busch and Stuart Malcolm who pulled up in training on Monday night.

But as the cold snap continues there is the risk the Station Park pitch could become a victim of the frost yet again.

And Mr Sheerin is keeping his fingers crossed the weather continues to improve.

He said: “Hopefully it will be OK and it looks promising as the temperatures are set to rise but the history of getting games on there isnt great.

“But I suppose that is part and parcel of Scottish football.

“Before, if it was frosty referees would have just thrown the players on and taken a chance, but it seems more is made about safety these days.”

And ithat was the case on Saturday when an 11 a.m. pitch inspection saw the Lichties home fixture with Airdrie United was called off for a frozen pitch, which frustrated the boss.

He added: “I was hearing positive vibes from the club about the pitch so I was slightly surprised it was off.

“In Scotland the travelling distance between grounds isn’t too far so maybe they could have given it an extra hour until 12 to see what the pitch was like then.

“If this is going to happen I personally think summer football is certainly something that has to be considered and it speaks for itself.

“But I don’t think we will ever see summer football in my opinion.”

Twitter: @JenniferNewton1