Boss still wants improvement despite promising start

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ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin is calling for even more improvement from his players ahead of the League Cup tie away to Livingston tomorrow (Saturday).

The Lichties were narrowly defeated by First Division Dundee at Gayfield in the Challenge Cup on Saturday, despite turning out an impressive performance.

And even though his side more than held their own against full-time opposition Mr Sheerin told HeraldSport that despite the encouraging signs there is still more work to be done.

He explained: “We were looking reasonably strong but I just feel we could have played even better and I think we still have more to give.

“The fact that we nearly matched Dundee shows we did reasonably well and there are encouraging signs and plenty of positives to take.

“But it was just disappointing the way we lost the goals so easily, especially the second from a set-piece.”

Tomorrow’s opponents Livingston made an explosive start to the competitive season, brushing aside Airdrie United 5-0 in the Challenge Cup on Saturday.

And the boss knows just how tough the game will be, especially as they have to make the trip to Almondvale.

Mr Sheerin added: “They are obviously going to be high in confidence as they had a good pre-season and then got five goals away from home on Saturday.

“Even though we are playing higher opposition, hopefully we can get a little cup run although it is not an ideal start.

“It will be a good test for us but hopefully we can compete against them the same way we did against Dundee on Saturday.”

The manager has almost a full squad to chose from, although last minute decisions will be made on Gavin Swankie and Jordan Elfverson who are both struggling.

Despite Saturday’s extra-time defeat to Dundee on Saturday, the game provided the new faces at Gayfield a chance to play in the team in a competitive game.

And Mr Sheerin was full of praise for his new players who stepped up to the plate.

He said: “To be honest the new signings were probably the better players.

“Marc Baxter was excellent and Beau Busch also played although maybe he needs to clear his lines better.

“Kerrzo [Brian Kerr] also played well so it was good for all our new players.”

And one new signing who certainly made an impact was young striker Jordan Elfverson, who netted his first ever senior goal.

Mr Sheerin commented: “It was great to see Jordan come off the bench and get a goal because with all due respect I don’t think that happened many times last season.

“It is excellent to see him get goals and it will breed confidence in him and put more pressure on ‘Swanks’.

“Obviously from his personal point of view it is good to be scoring but also from ours too.”

With the league season due to start in just over a week, attention has been turning to fitness with Mr Sheerin keen to see players get as much game time as possible.

A friendly against SPL side Aberdeen has been arranged for Monday (August 1) and the boss is hoping it will boost preparations for the league opener against Albion Rovers.

“The game against Aberdeen is something we had hoped to do pre-season”, he said.

“But they came back to us so we have arranged it for Monday so a few of their fringe players can get a game.

“It will be a great talent because they have some quality players and young talent.

“But at this stage all anybody is wanting is more game time.”

The friendly against Aberdeen on Monday takes places at Gayfield in a 7.30 p.m. kick-off.