Derek Ure has warned his East Stirlingshire squad that Saturday’s impressive 4-1 Scottish Cup victory away at Highland League Huntly “cannot be a one off.”
The Shire gaffer was full of praise for the way his players negotiated a very tricky tie, producing a stellar performance and recording what Ure himself described as a “convincing” win.
But, as befits a man who wants to set the highest possible standards, Ure says there can be no resting on laurels.
Shire get back to Lowland League action this weekend with a clash at The Falkirk Stadium against Gala Fairydean Rovers, the side they will face in the second round of the Scottish Cup as their reward for the Huntly victory.
Ure, chasing his first league victory since taking over as boss, wants the same again from his charges.
“I think it should be a challenge to the players,” he said. “We can’t think that performance will be a one off. We need to reach that standard every week not once every four weeks or once every six weeks. We need it to get victories and to start climbing the league table and start challenging at the top.
“We knew we had good players at the club even when recent results weren’t going for us and I think Saturday proved that there’s no doubt this group can play.
“Maybe it just took them a bit of time to get used to the way Andy [Rodgers] and I want them to play but hopefully they will take a huge amount of confidence from the result.
“On Saturday the boys were really up for the game, they worked hard and battled for each other, and they listened to the instructions they were given.
They stuck to the game plan and it worked.”
The second round Scottish Cup draw has given Shire a trip to the familiar with an away tie against fellow Lowland League side Gala Fairydean Rovers, which will be played at Netherdale on Saturday, October 20.
Before that, though, is Saturday’s home league clash with the Galashiels club and a simple glance at the league table is enough to understand why Ure is making this game the number one priority.
“We need three points to get us climbing the league again,” he said. “We have won two cup-ties, and that’s great, but I also want to get my first league win as a manager.
“Gala had a good Scottish Cup win at the weekend too and we know we will have to apply ourselves properly. We need to defend correctly, just as we did at Huntly, and, to a certain extent, the attacking play will take care of itself.
“We were defensively strong on Saturday and we defended as a unit and that gave us what we needed to go forward. We will be looking for the same again this weekend.”
Ure did allow himself the chance to reflect on the cup draw and believes Gala will probably have a similar view to the match-up, a game which puts the winners just one more victory away from a potential glamour game against a top Premiership team.
“I think both sides will look on it as a winnable cup-tie,” said Ure. “There will be no surprise element for either of us as we play each other regularly, but I think if we turn up and show the right attitude we will be a match for anyone.”
But Saturday’s league game has to be the priority. Ure is hoping for some good news with the possible return from injury of Paul McCafferty. There will also be a fitness check on Kris Faulds, but Liam Allison and Moses Olanrewaju are still out.