Derby day for Stenny and Shire

Firs Park the destination for local teams

STENHOUSEMUIR co-manager Des McKeown has left his squad in no doubt as to what is required in Saturday's derby against the Shire at Firs Park.

"The Shire beat us 3-2 there last month and that should be enough to motivate our players for Saturday," he said.

Warriors fans felt the game should not have gone ahead in waterlogged conditions, but McKeown does not share their views.

"The pitch was playable as far as I was concerned and the better team won on the night.

"Dennis Newall has turned East Stirling around dramatically and our players know that they will have to be at their best to reverse the last result.

"There are no excuses about the last game because the Shire deserved to win and our players have been left in no doubt this week that they have no right to have a superiority complex. They will need to perform at their best to take anything from the game."

Honest Des left Ochilview after last week's defeat against Montrose to run the London Marathon and recorded an excellent time of 3 minutes 43 seconds for the 26 mile course and the McMillan cancer nurses will benefit hugely from his exertions.

"I will be taking part in the New York event again in September and I hope the generosity of sponsors will continue for such a great cause."

Teetotal McKeown did not leave for the London run in a happy mood.

The Warriors huffed and puffed against Montrose. But were a pretty sterile unit. "I thought we were the better team in the first half, but did not test their keeper and in the second period did much the same.

"We did not do enough to win the game and nobody here is kidding themselves otherwise."

Muir travel make the short trip across town with Lee Collins, Steve Fallon and David McInally still unfit, but otherwise have a full squad to choose from.

"Saturday is a chance for the players to respond to last week's defeat by giving our fans something to cheer about in a local derby, but they know they will have to perform much better to get a result."

East Stirlingshire manager Dennis Newall is just as keen to see his side get back on track after last week's dismal display against Albion Rovers.

HeraldSport caught up with the man last night (Wednesday) as he watched an amateur match in Kirkintilloch.

The Firs Park boss has already resigned himself to having no summer break as he tries once again to improve the standing of the football club that pays his wages.

Limited funds make the job a 'mission impossible' in so many ways – but Newall has an appetite for the game that shows no sign of diminishing.

He said: "We'll finish bottom but I'm already thinking about what we will be capable of doing next season. It's obvious we have to try and bring in a bit more quality. That won't be easy and why I'm spending time now taking in amateur and juvenile matches to see what's available.

"Everybody knows the situation at the club, but you have always got to be positive and think ahead."

Shire were down to the bare bones last week with just two subs available – both of them goalkeepers.

And the injury situation means that on the eve of 'derby day' very little is likely to change.

Denham, Findlay and Thwyssen are all facing a race against time to be fit enough to challenge for a jersey – but it's a big day at Firs Park and these players will be given every chance to be part of it.

Other members of the squad were reminded at training this week their under-achieving could see them seeking jobs elsewhere.

The manager agreed more than a few are playing for their footballing futures as the clock ticks down .

Newall said: "We have a big day ahead of us on Saturday and I'll be looking to the players selected to respond to that challenge. There's a chance for everyone but they have to take that chance and prove to me they deserve to be here next season. If they give me their best I'll have no complaints."