SPFL 2: Depth of squad key to success for Denholm

Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2024

The Spartans get set to lock horns with East Fife to Ainslie Park on Saturday in the latest round of SPFL 2 fixtures.

No stranger to the visitors and their new Manager Dick Campbell is Spartans winger Danny Denholm. 

Denholm played under Campbell twice, signing for Forfar in 2012 and reuniting with the most famous bunnet in Scottish football in 2017 after joining Arbroath.

The former East Fife player was in the Spartans starting XI last time the two teams met in Methil.  A Blair Henderson hat-trick secured three valuable points on the road that evening however Denholm is conscious of a renewed vigour amongst the Fifers ahead of Saturday’s clash.

“I think it’ll be a different game all together.  As we know, they’ve brought in Dick Campbell, someone I know very well having played under him a few times and he’s someone who will only want to accept three points from his players each week.

“They’ll be quite direct usually, so we’ll have to be up for it and able to combat whatever they throw at us.  In this league as we’ve seen, there not much difference between most of the teams so it’ll need another big effort from us to carve out the win.”

It was a slow, fractured start to February for Douglas Samuel’s men, kicking off with an injury-fuelled frustrating defeat at Forfar however the squad began to build up a gradually to a moment of crescendo with our inaugural win over Bonnyrigg Rose last weekend.

Denholm added, “It was a mixed bag, which is always going to happen at this level.  When we were required to bounce back, we did and to be honest, it could have been 3 or 4 at half time against Bonnyrigg. I thought we were very good and then the soft penalty changes the style of the game, made it a wee bit nervy, perhaps unnecessarily so. 

“We deserved it though and we now look pick up a series of wins on the spin as we work hard to secure a play-off place.   Over the next few weeks we want to keep these wins churning out until its mathematically impossible for us to be caught.”

A midweek closed-door friendly offered extra game time for Denholm and minutes in the legs of many others in a Spartans squad.

Denholm continued, “We’ve always had a decent bit of depth on the bench, but then when all those injuries seem to hit us in one go, we looked a wee bit sparse.  We brought a couple of guys in, Josh Laing has come back and slotted in well plus the recent addition of Marc McNulty too.  We’ve got the quality back in play again across the squad that individually and collectively have proven they can compete well in League 2.

“We’ve had a spell with injuries, we’ll undoubtedly have some more before the season is out, that’s just football for you.  We’re well prepared and the guys that start the game always know they’ve got others breathing down their neck keen to get on the park too.  To have such depth on the bench who can come on at any stage and impact the game is crucial in our play-off aspirations.”

Next Fixture

Date: 29/06/24
Opponent: Livingston FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Kick off: 3.00pm

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