Mark Whatley says title-chasing Arbroath need to stay focused on the task at hand

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Arbroath skipper Mark Whatley has called on his teammates to remain focused on the goal with the Lichties one win away from the title.

Saturday’s 3-2 win over Elgin City puts Dick Campbell’s side top of League Two for the first time this season after 34 weeks chasing Forfar Athletic.

But now only a trip to Stirling Albion stands between Arbroath and only the second league title in their history, with a victory over the Binos confirming their place as champions.

And while Whatley admitted that the players know full well what’s at stake, he stressed that the Lichties squad are just treating the clash the same as any other game this season.

He said: “We’ve been in the position for a while now where we just know that we need to go out and be positive and aim for three points, whatever opponent it is. Saturday is no difference.

“We’ll go there respectful of Stirling but aiming to be positive and going after the three points. There’s no added pressure, it’s just a big incentive at the end of it.

“That incentive will motivate us to push ourselves even harder but it’s just another game we need to win. We’ll work hard and see where that gets us.

“It’s always a tough game against Elgin and it proved to be the case on Saturday as well. It was very tough but it’s a big win for us. Ryan scored some good goals and we did well.

“With results elsewhere it’s obviously put us top and we couldn’t ask for much more going into the last game of the season.

“But we know there’s no point going top after the second last game of the season if you’re not top at the end of the season, so we’re not getting carried away with it by any means.

“Obviously it was a great reaction to going top of the table but it’s been a very positive attitude for weeks. We’ve always known that if we keep working hard and try to take maximum points, we can see where it takes us.

“It’s a positive mood but it has been all season. We have a close group of players and the management staff have done well to get us like that.

“In previous weeks we’ve been doing the right things and we know what’s at stake here. It’s a case of doing more of the same.

“I would be delighted obviously to win the title. Throughout your career you’re looking to win things and we’re in a good position.

“But let’s just focus on the game and getting the three points, then we’ll take it from there. We’ve done nothing so far. We’re in the play-offs and that’s it. We’re keeping ourselves fully focused on the game and hopefully we’ll see a positive result.

“The fans have been absolutely fantastic, it’s been tremendous. Their following has been brilliant and we can’t thank them enough for their support.

“Hopefully we put the right performance in and get the three points to send them home happy.”