No talk of title just yet warns Lichties’ boss

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ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin is warning life could be tough at the top after the Lichties went four points clear in Division Three on Tuesday night.

A victory at Albion Rovers and other results going their way meant the Gayfield men extended their lead at the top and also have a game in hand.

But Mr Sheerin is urging caution over any title talk and explained being top of the league brings its own difficulties.

He told HeraldSport: “Obviously I was delighted with the result from Tuesday night and the position we are in.

“But being at the top like we are, you are there to be shot down as our position may give other teams the edge when they face us to knock us off our perch.

“And it also gives them an extra incentive to take points off us so it may add on the pressure.

“But at the same time with the four-point cushion, we know that regardless of what happens tomorrow (Saturday), we will still be top come quarter to five.

“I don’t know if having the game in hand is beneficial but we are in the right position so we will see.”

At Cliftonhill on Tuesday night, the manager became only the third player in Scotland to have played at every senior football ground in the country.

And the milestone was marked with a 2-0 win over fellow contenders Albion Rovers thanks to a Steven Doris double.

The boss added that he was pleased to see Doris on the scoresheet to add to his goal from Saturday against Annan Athletic.

He said: “Steven suffered with injuries at the start of the season and then had been experiencing a little bit of a lull lately.

“But even when he wasn’t playing his best, he was always contributing so it is excellent to see him getting amongst the goals again.”

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Lichties will be hoping to possibly extend their lead at the top even further with a win over Berwick Rangers at Gayfield.

The Borderers had experienced a dip in their form but a run which has seen them unbeaten in their last six games has pushed them up to sixth in the league.

Mr Sheerin is hoping that home advantage will work in his side’s favour.

He added: “There is no doubt it is going to be tough against Berwick and it seems that all teams are capable of beating each other at the moment.

“But fingers crossed we can put in a good performance as we know how hard it is going to be and get a home win.

“Our performance was pretty horrible on Tuesday against Albion Rovers but I have talked about winning ugly and if that is how we have to win games, I will take it.”

Mr Sheerin will have almost a full squad to chose from tomorrow with only Alan Rattray set to miss out through injury.

In the last couple of games, the boss has changed the starting line-up around and he admitted it is something he may be doing again tomorrow.

He explained: “It is likely I’ll change the team around again on Saturday like I have over the past few weeks.

“People were probably surprised to see Gavin Swankie and Keith Gibson not in the starting line-up on Tuesday as they have been excellent for us.

“But Keith had been suffering from flu so he was rested and as I decided to go for one up front, I felt Doris was more suited to that role than Gavin Swankie.

“It is not a case of dropping people but just changing things around.

“I felt a few weeks ago at Elgin we maybe should have freshened things up and I don’t want to make that same mistake twice.”