East Stirlingshire prepare for Stranraer date

JIM McInally fully expects East Stirlingshire's enforced month-long winter break to end this weekend, and is backing his players to be ready for Third Division leaders Stranraer.

While the countryremains

in the grip of the big freeze

and more forecast snow could once again disrupt the weekend programme,

McInally says Stranraer's

isolated location makes it

highly probable the match

there will go ahead.

Shire have not played at all since knocking Spartans

out of the Scottish Cup on November 20 but have been training hard indoors at their training base at Dunblane High School.

"I read in the paper last week that Stranraer was the only place in Scotland that hasn't had any snow," said the Shire boss.

"They don't lose many matches to the weather and they certainly managed to get their home game with Berwick on last weekend.

"So I am assuming this Saturday's game will be on and we will have to be prepared for it.The one thing

we must do is at least try to train outdoors and get a bit of football in the players."

Although the indoor facilities at Shire's disposal

will be the envy of many clubs at their level,McInally

says it is no substitute for getting out onto a football pitch and doing some ball work.

"The indoor facilities at Dunblane are brilliant," he said. "But they limit what you can do. In the main we have had to concentrate on doing conditioning work.

"When you are inside in gyms you use different

muscles to the ones you need for playing football. So

while it's useful for keeping the players ticking over we

really do need to get outside soon."

But despite that the Shire boss says he has no fears that

his team may be out of touch ahead of the trip to the south-

west. He remains con?dent that their football instinct

will see them through.

"I don't buy into this ring- rusty idea anyway. Our

players will be really keen to get back playing. The only

thing they want to do is get out there and get the ball at

their feet.

"They are certainly ?t enough and I don't believe

they will have forgotten how to play football."