the Eleventh hour for Red Lichties

Bobby Linn takes the fight to Dunfermline.
Bobby Linn takes the fight to Dunfermline.

The disappointing feeling in the changing room after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Dunfermline Athletic needs to be forgotten in the run up to the last crucial game of the season.

Player / manager Paul Sheerin understands the players felt a bit low and the loss was a test to the dedication and effort they’ve put in up to this point.

He said: “I would have taken that win, the fact that we’re still in the same situation is testing the players.

“It is frustrating that it’s not in our own hands. After Saturday it could have been, had we kept our concentration and focused more on our defence.

“We can only hope for the best that results from elsewhere go in our favour.”

Despite the dependence on the East Fife result, the Lichties still need to knuckle down and secure a win against Gary Bollan’s men to ensure they have a chance at the play-offs.

The gaffer is not afraid to admit he is feeling edgy about the weekend.

“I am tense. There is a definite nervousness and anxiousness at the moment,” he revealed.

“It is purely down to it being the last day, the whole occasion of it and whatever happens now there are no second chances.

“There’s this edge to the last day. From our point of view we would obviously just rather know we were in the play-off.

“As I always say we just need to look after ourselves but to be honest the last thing I would want to happen is to lose the game and find out East Fife lost as well.”

Arbroath have got to focus on not conceding any goals but, as Sheerin points out, the onus is on them scoring goals as well.

He said: “I would look out for Linn and Cook, also Deuchar and McManus.

“We are hoping that they have real effect and keep us up the park and cause lots of problems to them defensively.”

The full team are all in action with no injuries or suspensions hampering further chances of a successful outcome for the Red Lichties.

It has been a tough and emotive season culminating in a lot of pressure on manager/player Paul Sheerin and all the players in the team.

Coming back after being nearly completely written off has proven the team’s spirit and determination in the face of, what seemed at times, a certain end.

Sheerin’s support in his team has not wavered and he has great confidence in them for Saturday.

He said: “If the team’s performance levels continue as they have and their attitude and appetite is the same as the last month then I don’t see why we’re not capable of going out there and winning the match.”