Lowland League | Gaffer looks to youth to engage with Gretna

Posted on Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Spartans welcome Gretna to Ainslie Park for the latest Lowland League encounter.

Just like Dougie Samuel’s side, the visitors have only turned out in the competition three times so far this campaign and both will be undoubtedly out to look for a win to bolster their respective league positions.

Despite last week’s setback in Berwick, Saturday’s return to league duty is a welcome one for the Gaffer. “I think the players were disappointed with their first half performance last week and after going two goals down there was perhaps a lack of belief in the team that was exacerbated when Dean was sent off.

“It has felt like quite a few things have gone against this season already but if you actually dig a little bit deeper, our performance against BSC was good and I think we deserved to – and were unlucky not to – take something out of that game.

“We had a good win against Edinburgh Uni and an excellent victory down at Gala too, so right now, we are actually in better shape after three games than we were last season but we do have a number of players missing which does make it difficult to put out a settled side on the park, in particular a settled back five.  We’ve struggled a wee bit with having to chop and change in that area.

“On Saturday we’ve a chance to consolidate that decent start to the league and that’s what we’re going out to try and do.

It’s such a strong competitive league these days that a result here and there can mean you drop down or move up four places!  The table right now is slightly false, but for me it’s about getting a good start in August. 

“I think there’s a lot of league games played in the first month for a league programme that only consists of thirty games, therefore it’s important to get off to a good start. If we can get the win against Gretna then that puts us up to 9 points out of a possible 12 then that’s actually a decent return.

“We are stretched again due to injuries, suspensions and holidays.  It’s the nature and I guess the reality of being a football club manager.  You are constantly having to juggle and manage the non-availability of players. 

“The season runs from July to May and the world is a lot smaller place these days.  We’ve just been a bit unfortunate having to manage this on top of the injuries to the likes of Jack, Dale and Bolo who have barely kicked a ball so far this season. However I’m pleased to bring in young Leeroy from Hearts which will give us a boost ahead of the game.

“Saturday will see us down to the bare bones but it will give opportunities to some of the younger players and that’s certainly not something we are frightened to do and to give them a chance.”

Next Fixture

club crest
Date: Saturday 1st February
Opponent: Edinburgh University
Competition: Lowland League
Kick off: 3.00pm

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