Stenhousemuir boss wants positive reaction to Elgin off-day

There was disappointment for Mark McGuigan and Stenhousemuir at Elgin last week. (Pic by Robert W. Crombie)
There was disappointment for Mark McGuigan and Stenhousemuir at Elgin last week. (Pic by Robert W. Crombie)

Stenhousemuir boss Brown Ferguson has challenged his side to bounce back from their disappointing display at Elgin last week.

It was a case of deja vu for the Warriors manager as - for the second time this season - he saw his side come off second best against the Highlanders at Borough Briggs.

But a 4-3 win over a strong Dunfermline side in a bounce game on Tuesday picked up morale - and Ferguson wants that to continue when Berwick Rangers visit his promotion-chasing side at Ochilview on Saturday.

He said: "It was a very disappointing performance against Elgin, there's no way of dressing it up.

"Conditions were very difficult, the pitch was poor but in the first half Elgin managed to get the ball and play. But we were so stand-off and lacklustre.

"It was very unusual - the only other times that has happened to us this season was when we went away to Elgin the first time and in the first half at Cowdenbeath.

"I'm not saying the second half on Saturday was good, but it was more competitive. Our workrate went up and it became a 50-50 game, but Elgin won the game in the first half.

"There are certain factors when you go to places like Elgin that are obvious - the travel, the long bus journey, the unusual preparations - but I don't want to make excuses.

"It's something every team has to deal with. Sometimes you go into a match where it's difficult to play football and you need to force your opponents into mistakes by being tighter and we didn't do any of that."

Stenhousemuir have managed to quickly put those previous poor performances at Elgin and Cowdenbeath behind them and Ferguson wants more of the same of against Berwick.

He said: "We've had two performances like this already this season and have bounced back in the right manner.

"The reaction was very good against Dunfermline and we've put Saturday out of our system. We now need to take that into this Saturday's game.

"It's a totally different game it's on our own astroturf pitch and it should allow us to get the ball down and be a bit more forceful with the ball.

"I'm looking for that type of reaction, a real workmanlike attitude to go and put them under pressure and be a lot better with the ball.

"Berwick ran Peterhead very close on Tuesday night and every team's capable of putting in performances.

"It will be a stiff challenge but I'm expecting a reaction from last weekend."