Swift improvement in fortunes on way, pledges Stenhousemuir boss after faltering start to League Two season

Stenhousemuir manager Stephen Swift insists his team have the chance to show what they are really about with crucial league and cup matches on the horizon after salvaging a late point last time out.

By Ben Kearney
Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:33 pm
Stephen Swift watching Stenhousemuir play Elgin City last month (Photo: Scott Louden)
Stephen Swift watching Stenhousemuir play Elgin City last month (Photo: Scott Louden)

Captain Sean Crighton’s last-gasp bullet header kept the Ochilview side off bottom spot after a 1-1 draw with Forfar Athletic put them ahead of Cowdenbeath on goal difference.

Swift admits he couldn’t have imagined such a poor start to the campaign when he assembled his squad in the summer.

He said: “When we got everyone through the door, I was genuinely excited about the quality of player we have got throughout the squad.

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“I can understand the supporters’ frustrations because our aspirations are so much higher than where we are at the minute.

“Football matches aren’t won on paper and we need to do the basics on the pitch better. In both boxes we aren’t where I want us to be.”

Drawing a line under the first quarter of the season, Swift insists his side can still do well this campaign and although it is a completely new squad, he won’t use that as an excuse.

The 41-year-old added: “The guys we know what we have to do – take six points from Cowdenbeath and Albion Rovers and progress in the cup and build from there.”

The trip to Central Park on Saturday brings its own challenges but Swift believes his players are ready for that, saying: “The pitch and the environment is something we can’t change. We just have to adapt to it.

“We know how they will play, and with Kris Renton they have a real handful up front. I think we need to approach the match in a certain way.”

After four years in charge at Lowland League side Broomhill, Stenhousemuir is his first step into management in the SPFL, and he refuses to pass the buck for his side’s poor start.

He said: “I look at myself and think are there decisions I would change now? Of course there are. If I could go back to the start, I would have done some things differently for sure.

“Now we just need to show our quality because what I do know is the players we have brought in can play to a much more consistent level than we have been at.

Jordan Tapping, Darren Christie and James Lyon could all miss out due to injury.