No Sludden complacency as Shire head to Hawick

Shire boss John Sludden
Shire boss John Sludden

Take nothing for granted is the message being delivered to East Stirlingshire players ahead of Saturday’s trip to Lowland League bottom side Hawick Royal Albert.

Coach John Sludden will demand his players set the same standards against a team yet to claim their first points of the season as they did in inflicting champions East Kilbride’s only defeat of the campaign so far last Saturday.

And he’s also telling the players who drew the plaudits for Saturday’s 5-0 victory at K Park that there can be no basking in the glory of that result.

As pleasing as the win was Sludden’s eyes are fixed on the next game, not the last one.

“Saturday was great but it’s done and dusted now,” he said. “Of course we will go down to Hawick with a lot of confidence after what happened, but the most important thing is to go and get another result and get a run of results going.”

Shire are still well adrift of the current pacesetters and their only option from now on in is to use the East Kilbride result to build confidence and also as a yardstick.

“We came in with high spirits after the win but now we have to be focused on this Saturday,” he said. “And the only way to continue that is to keep on working as hard as we did on Saturday.

“It will be a game where we have to earn the right to go and win but they all showed [against East Kilbride] that they are capable of setting very high standards.”

Sludden’s caution is playing more than just lip service to a set of opponents who have struggled significantly so far this season.

Hawick Royal Albert have brought in the man Sludden replaced as Shire coach, Craig Tully, to spearhead a revival of their fortunes after a run of nine straight league defeats to start the season.