AFTER this week’s poor showing, Arbroath player-manager Paul Sheerin will be hoping it was a case of too much Christmas cheer and his players can get back to business tomorrow (Saturday).
The Maroons lost 3-2 to Brechin City at Glebe Park on Wednesday, a result and a performance the gaffer was not happy with.
Paul said: “I was disappointed with most of it to be honest with you. We’ve got an experienced group of players who were underachieving.
“Whether it’s because they were mentally ill-prepared I’m not sure, but you have to trust players away from the club and there’s not much you can do to control that.
“We went and had a go in the second 45, but it wasn’t enough.”
The Lichties were two goals down inside of 35 minutes.
HeraldSport asked if that was too much of a deficit to claw back and the boss responded: “At half time I didn’t think that, but obviously that’s the way it turned out. You can’t expect to give teams at this level a two goal lead and then come back. However, when it went to 2-1 we were looking like we could come back.
“But after they scored again so quickly we didn’t get a chance to create a foothold and get ahead.”
As manager it is now up to Paul to pick his team up and get them back into shape.
He said: “Overall I can’t point out individuals. We were all over the place early on collectively as a unit and Brechin looked like they could score at any time.
“At half time the players themselves just knew they had to improve and there was no getting away from that or it could have been a very long afternoon.
“This is something for us to look at now in training. I know I keep harping on about it every week but we have to start winning consistently.”
Asked if Arbroath deserved to take any points away from the encounter Paul’s answer was emphatic. He said: “No, we had a go in the second half because we had to, but in doing that we were open at the back and they had four or five clear cut chances.
“But that’s the gamble you have to take and Tony Bullock made some good one-on-one saves.”
And according to the boss, Stuart Malcolm’s own goal was just one of those unhappy incidents that happen in football every now and again.
He said: “Their player broke through and Malkie [Stuart Malcolm] had a decision to make. He stuck out his leg, it was just the wrong leg.”
Looking forward to tomorrow (Saturday) the Lichties welcome Albion Rovers to Gayfield, and Paul will be hoping to recapture some of that Fortress Gayfield spirit which has served them so well in the past.
He said: “It’ll be good to get back home. Our home form has been far superior to our away form. It’ll be good to get a couple of home games.”
On Wednesday East Fife are the visitors to Gayfield. Asked if he was concerned about the impact of playing three games in a week Paul reassured HeraldSport it had been taken into account.
He said: “It’s just the way the fixtures happen. It’s the same every year over Christmas time. We knew these games were coming so there’s no real pressure.”
However, the gaffer may be without the services of Daniel Rennie who picked up an injury in training recently and also goalkeeper Scott Morrison who is still struggling with the wrist injury he sustained in the match against Celtic.