Lichties still to reach potential

editorial image

ARBROATH player-manager Paul Sheerin should be a happy man but, like all good managers, always sees room for improvement.

Following their comprehensive 4-2 defeat of league contenders Ayr United the gaffer still felt his new side had more to give.

He said: “We’ve tidied up a bit. I don’t know, we’re still not there. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.

“I keep saying it. We’re a new squad, but we’re five games in and still undefeated. It’s no bad thing I suppose that we’re winning games, but we’re not winning them in the manner I’d like to win them. It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?

“I’m happy to be winning games, but I think we’ve got more to give, we’ve definitely got a lot more to give than what we’re offering, that’s for sure.

“I think we have a decent squad, but I just feel we need to pass the ball better. We’re not passing it as well as I’d like. We’re not as fluid as I’d like us to be.

“I think in seasons past we’ve looked a better footballing team than we are at the minute. We’ll encourage the players to keep trying to improve and I’m sure they’ll want to as well.

“I’m not overly concerned about the goals we lose to be honest with you, they’re just bad granted, but they are things we can sort.

“That’s being pernickety though, really pernickety. The more games we win I can’t really be too critical, but I do expect more.”

Tomorrow (Saturday) Arbroath face Division Two newcomers Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park. Paul expects a good game but is confident of the outcome.

He said: “They’re similar to ourselves. They were excellent in the Third Division and they’ll try to continue the form they had last season.

“We’re five games in and undefeated so we can go in full of confidence. I think to be fair most of the games will be tough this season. This is a really tight league.

“If we can pick up one or two points away from home that will help.

“We’ve done our homework and hopefully we’ll come away with a point.”

Asked if the artificial pitch at Recreation Park would pose a problem to Arbroath, who are used to real grass, Paul seemed unfazed at the prospect.

He replied: “No, we’re used to it. More and more clubs are going that way. Last season Stenhousemuir and Airdrie had it so we know what these surfaces are like.

“A lot of clubs are going that way, it’s just part and parcel of Scottish Football at the moment.”

The draw for the quarter-final of the Ramsden Challenge Cup was announced on Wednesday, pitting Arbroath against Stenhousemuir at Gayfield.

Paul said of the fixture: “At this stage we were looking to get a home draw and we’ve managed to get that.

“Stenhousemuir are going well. They’ve started their campaign really well and they will give us another stiff test and one that we will relish.”

The gaffer was also able to confirm that Darren Hill will be out of action for at least the next eight weeks after he suffered a broken arm clashing with Ayr United forward Ross Robertson on Saturday.

Steven Doris, who also exited early on Saturday due to injury, was expected to make a return to training this week, but it was too early to say if he would make the trip to Alloa.

Stuart Malcolm, who has been out of commission for some time could also be in contention for a shirt this week after recently returning to training.

And as we went to press on Thursday morning, Paul Sheerin confirmed via Twitter that he had signed trialist Colin Hamilton following his performance against Ayr.