ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin says the Lichties are in last chance saloon tomorrow (Saturday) if they want to make it back-to-back league titles.
After losing their unbeaten home record to Brechin on Saturday, the Gayfield men still remain seven points behind league leaders Cowdenbeath who are their opponents tomorrow.
And with only four games remaining after the Central Park clash, the boss says its now or never in the race for the title.
He told HeraldSport: “Now we have an opportunity to close the gap to four points tomorrow and basically it’s the last chance for us.
“If we get it down to four points with four games to go who knows what will happen?
“But 10 points would be just too much.
“A few weeks ago at worst I though we would be going into this game four points behind so it is a bit of a disappointment as the pressure is on.
“But all we have to do is win now.”
Cowdenbeath remain the only side in the Second Division not to have tasted defeat at home during this campaign, although they, too, suffered a loss on Saturday, away to Albion Rovers.
And the manager knows demanding a win from his players will be no easy task.
He explained: “Their form not just at home but all season has been excellent.
“They are a well drilled and organised side and that is what we will expect from them.
“Last time up there it was 0-0 but I thought we were the better team so we have the confidence to go there and get three points.
“I know we are saying it is a must win game but they will be in the same situation in not wanting to be beaten.”
Mr Sheerin will be without Jordan Elfverson through injury and Keith Gibson is suspended after receiving a straight red card for a stamp on Paul McManus during Saturday’s clash with Brechin.
The club was to find out late yesterday (Thursday) if Gibson was to receive a two or three-game ban for what some believe was a controversial sending off.
The boss added: “I’ve looked back at the incident and unfortunately for Gibby I can’t excuse him and the red card was probably deserved.
“However I will say it was totally out of character for him and everybody who is linked with the club will tell you that.
“We’ve all done silly things in games, even myself through frustration, especially the way the game was going on Saturday.
“It is disappointing as he is a good squad player and now he may be out for possibly three games for the run in.”
It wasn’t just frustration on the pitch as it was also frustration in the stands as the Maroon faithful watched their first defeat at Gayfield all season on Saturday.
Local rivals Brechin ran out 3-2 winners with the Lichties’ goals coming from two Steven Doris penalties.
And on reflection the boss is still disappointed with the result.
He said: “You probably don’t deserve to win if you are losing three goals at home.
“It is disappointing as that was another chance passed us by but we will keep going.
“We know it is a big ask but we still have five games left.”