Sheerin confident, but urges players to stay focused

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ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin is delighted that his team has reached the top of the league so soon. However, he is well aware that the Lichties have some way to go before the end of the season and he is urging them to stay focused.

The Gayfield side reached the Division Three summit on Saturday after a closely fought 4-3 win at Stranraer with a hat-trick from Gavin Swankie and one from Josh Falkingham.

Although the Lichties would have preferred to keep a clean sheet the manager is happy that they are now back to their winning ways and hopes that it will continue.

Arbroath will now be without scorer Falkingham and Ross Chisholm for this weekend’s tie against Albion Rovers due to suspension after they were both sent off during last Saturday’s game.

The manager told HeraldSport: “Obviously top of the table is where you want to be, especially sooner rather than later.

“I’m pleased but surprised that we got here so soon but it’s good to be here at the minute.

“At the same time this will make other teams even more determined to beat us, especially those who are also challenging for the top.

“It was good to win on Saturday and we will now go into a massive game this weekend against Albion Rovers.”

Albion Rovers are currently only one point behind Arbroath in the league and they also have a game in hand. Sheerin is not going to let this get to him, however, as he says he is sure his team are confident going into the fixture.

Sheerin said: “We have to be confident. We had a run of seven wins earlier in the season and it would be good to get that same confidence going.

“I think the boys have a lot of confidence going into this game and we also have home advantage.”

The manager was not so happy about the loss of two key players going into such a big game.

He said: “Having two players suspended going into this game is a massive blow but we just have to deal with it.”

The manager now hopes that his team will take their confidence and channel it in the right way.

He said: “We have shown a lot of confidence throughout the season and I just have to make sure that the squad will channel it in the right way.

“We had a run of four clean sheets earlier in the season - we want to get that back.”

Although Sheerin is happy that Arbroath took away a lot of positives against Stranraer he is worried that they lost three goals.

He said: “I’m not going to deny that losing those three goals is a concern and it’s something that we will look at in training to ensure that we can go back to getting clean sheets.”

The boss added: “We have the talent in this team and we know that we will score.”

And the Gayfield supremo also paid tribute to Marc McCulloch who left his second spell at Arbroath by mutual consent during the transfer window. He has joined East Fife.

Sheerin said: “Marc McCulloch has moved on and we wish him the best of luck at his new club. He has been a great servant to Arbroath.”

The manager added: “We would like to bring in one or two more players before Saturday.”