Lichties gearing up for first derby clash of the season

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ARBROATH are gearing up for their first derby of the season tomorrow (Saturday) with a trip to Brechin City and manager Paul Sheerin says it is no time for their bubble to burst.

The Lichties are still top of the Second Division after recording five wins in their first six fixtures of the new campaign.

Tomorrow’s local derby takes on an extra edge as former Arbroath boss Jim Weir, who left the club in acrimonious circumstances, is now in charge at Glebe Park.

And Mr Sheerin told HeraldSport that he knows the match could be shaping up to be a hot affair.

He said: “The game is obviously going to have that edge and spice being a derby it is definitely one the fans want to win given Jim’s situation over how he left the club and moved on.

“I’m sure people are waiting for our bubble to burst but if we approach it and go about things like we have been doing then we will win more than we lose.

“If we can go there tomorrow and get three points it will be exceptional as it will be another tough test as Brechin have been up there contesting the play-offs the past few seasons.

“So if we can get the win it will be a real benchmark for us.”

Mr Sheerin and the Brechin boss spent time together at St Johnstone, when the ex-Lichties’ manager was assistant to John Connolly and then Owen Coyle at McDiarmid Park.

And the Gayfield boss knows how much the City players will be looking forward to the game.

He added: “Brechin aren’t quite firing on all cylinders at the moment, but as it will be a big occasion, Jim will have his players fired up and they will be confident.

“But we will also go into it with ambition and hope to come away with three points.

“We should be all fit for the game with Jordan Elfverson and Craig Wedderburn set to come back in.”

Tomorrow’s clash will mark the first of eight local derbies this season as Arbroath will also have to face Forfar, who are also in Division Two.

But the boss isn’t too worried that will affect their campaign.

He explained: “You often hear of the London teams speaking about how the amount of derbies can sometimes change their outlook and it definitely adds something to games.

“But, for us, we won’t approach them in any different way.

“When we played Montrose at the start of last season, I think we learned from that defeat and after knowing what that was like, we don’t want to do that again.”

Saturday’s victory over Airdrie United once again saw the strike duo of Steven Doris and Gavin Swankie get their names on the scoresheet along with Kieran McAnespie.

Already Doris and Swankie have scored 10 goals between them this season and seem to be picking up from where they left off from the championship winning campaign.

And Mr Sheerin added he couldn’t be happier with how the pair have been performing.

He said: “It is absolutely brilliant the way we have started and I was just talking to them about that.

“They already have five goals each so it is really encouraging.

“It has been a massive boost for us so hopefully they can keep on going but there will be pressure on their places from Jordan Elfverson, Lee Bryce and now Lee Sibanda who proved he can play up there.

“Its also good to see the goals spread about too with a few others also getting on the scoresheet.”