Forbes unplayable at Forfar, says Swift

(Pics: Chris Coutts)(Pics: Chris Coutts)
(Pics: Chris Coutts)
Stenhousemuir manager Stephen Swift praised his players’ attacking prowess after their 4-3 victory on Sunday against second-placed Forfar Athletic in League 2, but he joked that he doesn’t think his heart will last the second half of the campaign if they don’t learn how to defend a lead.

Midfielder Ross Forbes stole the show at Station Park, the 32-year-old rolling back the years with a stellar performance, grabbing two goals and two assists as an unstoppable first half was just enough to give the Warriors all three points.

“He was unplayable. When he’s on it like that, he is the best in the league in that role,” Swift told the Falkirk Herald.

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“It really was the Ross Forbes show in the first half. You can build a team around a player like him.

Ross Forbes scores from the spot (Pic: Chris Coutts)Ross Forbes scores from the spot (Pic: Chris Coutts)
Ross Forbes scores from the spot (Pic: Chris Coutts)

“Our challenge to him now is for him to replicate that on a regular basis.

“He can play a blinder like that every five or six games, but I need him to be doing it every other match.”

For all the good that was shown by Stenny as they played Forfar off the park in the first half, after the break it felt like the story of the previous two weeks was going to continue as they invited unnecessary pressure.

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Swift said: “After the last couple of games, I am just happy we picked up the three points, but we make it hard for ourselves.


“We conceded two avoidable goals close to each other and from then on it was always going to be a case of sitting in.

“It’s natural I suppose to do that as a player out on the park, but our attacking play is so strong we should have the confidence and the swagger to say ‘let’s finish the game off’ instead.”

Stenny became the first team to take three points at Forfar this season, but the boss now wants some consistency heading into Sunday’s game with Stirling Albion.

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The Binos are under new management, with Darren Young now in the dugout as they look to halt a seven-game losing run.

“I know Darren did well at East Fife and Albion Rovers before that,” said Swift.

“He’s had a bit of time now by the time the game comes, so they will be a threat for sure.

“I don’t look at their losses as anyone can turn up on their day in this league.

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“We need to focus on our own game and make sure we bring a balance to our play. We need to defend properly.”

Speaking about the season so far, the 41-year-old believes his side’s up-and-down nature has cost them a play-off spot in the table going into 2022. The Warriors are in fifth place, one spot away from their early-season goal.

Sitting on 23 points after 18 games, the boss admits that tally could and should have been more.

Swift said: “We took too long to get going. Yes, I did bring in a whole new squad basically, but it took a longer period to gel than I would have hoped and it cost us points early on.

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“Our first 10 league matches weren’t good enough in terms of our points return.

“Even now, we haven’t quite ironed out the defensive mistakes.

“It’s frustrating because we have experience in the team and they should be at a point now where mistakes are few and far between.”