Boss issues rallying call ahead of massive derby day

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PAUL Sheerin’s message to his players ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) crunch derby clash with Montrose is “stand up and be counted”.

Not only could the Lichties claim the Division Three title at Gayfield if they win and Albion Rovers fail to pick up three points, it could be made all the more sweet by lifting the first trophy in the club’s history against their bitter local rivals.

The boss knows just how massive the game will be to both the club and the supporters and he is calling on everybody at Gayfield tomorrow to play their part.

He told HeraldSport: “It’s a huge occasion to be given the chance to pick up three points that could take us a step forward towards a league title which is made even bigger by it being a derby against Montrose.

“From our point of view we are going into the game knowing we need to pick up points to try and lift the club’s first championship in 133 years so there is probably more pressure on us to get a result.

“But that is no bad thing and we all know the bitter rivalry between the teams so it is time for us to stand up and be counted.”

The Gable Endies have already taken three points off the Lichties this season and have had a late surge in form having gone four games unbeaten.

And despite them languishing near the bottom of the table, the boss knows it will still be a tough game.

He added: “They have had a great run of results lately and have done well since Ray Farningham took over.

“But we have to stay calm and disciplined and hopefully get the right result.

“Over the past few games the supporters have been tremendous and we are hoping for a big crowd so all I ask is that they get behind us the whole time, even if things might not be going our way.

“But it is great how vocal they have been and I know that it really does boost the players.”

The manager can return to the squad tomorrow after sitting out of Saturday’s draw with Queen’s Park due to suspension.

However, Stuart Malcolm is unlikely to return and Alan Rattray will definitely be out after having surgery on Tuesday.

And Mr Sheerin says it will be great to get back out on the pitch after having a tense afternoon on the sidelines on Saturday.

He explained: “It really was torture having to sit out of Saturday’s game against Queen’s Park and I think what was worse was knowing I was fit enough to play but just wasn’t allowed.

“I must have gone through every emotion possible, especially for those six minutes when we were in front and at that point we were winning the league.

“But we still have an important job to do tomorrow and we know exactly what we have to do.”