Shire boss Craig Tully is issuing a ‘same again’ message to his players ahead of Saturday’s Ochilview clash with Montrose.
Tully was more than encouraged by his team’s display in last weekend’s 1-0 away win over Clyde at Broadwood and believes it was the basis for an improvement in the club’s fortunes that can take Shire away from the bottom of the table.
He remains convinced that the squad is more than up to the task and wants them to repeat the performance he saw at Clyde on a regular basis.
“The league table last week didn’t make great reading,” he said. “It’s never nice to see your team at the bottom, especially when you know the players are capable of a lot better.
“We were stuck in a bit of a rut and there were reasons for that. The number of injuries and suspensions have been unbelievable and we have never really been able to pick our strongest team. The boys we have had to put in are young and inexperienced and that hasn’t helped either but we did need to dig ourselves out of a hole.”
The re-introduction of the more experienced elements of the squad has helped. Neither Michael Bolochoweckyj or Chris Townsley had played regularly at the centre of defence since August and there is evidence now that they are starting to get back to their best.
But the return of other players who have spent months on the sidelines is just as crucial to the club and Tully says evidence of that was provided by Max Wright’s display last Saturday.
“Before the game we said to get out of the situation the easiest thing to do would be to work hard. It was Max’s first start since September and he took us at our word by virtually running himself to a standstill. And there is no reason now why Shire can’t start to lift themselves away quickly from the wrong end of the table. With just three points covering the middle six teams in the league, a couple of wins on the bounce would see a fairly dramatic improvement in fortunes.
Although the perception after a run of four straight defeats was that Shire were having a poor season, Saturday’s win was their fourth of the campaign, the same number as East Fife who currently sit in the final play-off position.
But the coach is optimistic that they are capable of more.
“We managed to get ourselves out of a really bad slump with Saturday’s win,” he said. “Now we need to take the lessons and use them to get that kind of performance more weeks than not. If we can do that then we will win games and climb the league.
“I am a winner and came here to be a winner.”