Top dogs don’t fear tough schedule says boss

Sara & Meg Plummer'Rock-It-Ball
Sara & Meg Plummer'Rock-It-Ball

ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin has admitted the next couple of weeks are going to be hectic with the games coming thick and fast as the fixtures backlog starts to clear.

Tomorrow (Saturday) the Lichties face Queen’s Park at Hampden before a midweek trip to Annan on Tuesday night.

But the boss added his team are probably best placed to deal with their tight schedule having gone four points clear at the top of Division Three with a 3-0 win over Albion Rovers at Gayfield on Saturday.

He told HeraldSport that the demands of the fixture schedule coupled with travelling will make it tough but said the Lichties seem to have less to catch up on than other teams.

He explained: “There is no doubt it is going to be hectic as we are now in a position where we are going to be playing midweek and a Saturday over the next few weeks.

“The travelling is going to be the big thing for us, especially Tuesday night going all the way down to Annan when players have work and other commitments.

“But hopefully we can pick up a couple of wins and try and widen the gap between us and the rest of the pack and leave everybody else down each other’s throats.

“Luckily for us though we aren’t too badly off when it comes to catching up on fixtures compared to some other clubs.”

The Lichties trip to Hampden tomorrow will see them come up against an in form Queen’s Park team who have taken maximum points from their last four league games.

A visit earlier in the season to the national stadium culminated in a 5-2 defeat for Arbroath and the boss is hoping they can rectify this result tomorrow.

He said: “Queen’s Park are on a great run at the moment so it will be a tough game.

“It will be similar to Berwick and Stranraer when we went there early in the season and got beat but have since gone back and picked up results.

“Hopefully that is something we can do tomorrow to show how far we have come.

“Alan Rattray will definitely be out through injury and it looks as though it may be long term.

“But Josh Falkingham will be back in contention after his one game ban but Ross Chisholm is still suspended.”

On Saturday despite a 3-0 win over Albion Rovers to extend their lead at the top of the table, Mr Sheerin had said that he wasn’t overly pleased with his team’s performance.

And even though he still maintains the Lichties can play better, he admits he can’t grumble about the result.

He added: “I just feel like we have set standards that we didn’t live up to on Saturday but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

“It is a good thing that we didn’t perform to our best and still win 3-0 so I can’t grumble.

“But that is what is the difference between good sides becoming title winning sides.”

With several key players missing on Saturday due to suspensions, the manager fielded trialist Adam Strachan, a former Clyde midfielder who is currently without a club.

And Mr Sheerin said he would like to take another look at the player, who has also caught the interest of other clubs.

He added: “I would definitely like to see Adam play again so that Stewart Petrie and I can take another look at him.

“I thought he did fine on Saturday even though he is probably suited to a more wider role but he is a positive player demanding of the ball and he did everything we asked of him.

“He has also been training with Stirling Albion so it is just a case of seeing what happens.”