The Manager talks about the upcoming game against Brechin, and getting to know the Club
The Warriors gave a gritty display to come away from Dunfermline with a point and they pleased new manager Scott Booth by the fact they stuck to a tight game plan and produced the goods. However, Stenny fans can expect a different sort of display when Brechin City come to Ochilview on Saturday.
“We are at home and we will always look to win our home games no matter who it is against,” said Booth. “Hopefully you will see a slightly different side to us, compared to against Dunfermline. We set out to play against Dunfermline in a very specific pattern for a specific reason and real credit to the lads that they did what they did, got the point and really worked hard at it.
“This time it is going to be a case of working equally as hard but to cause Brechin as many problems as we can, using a very positive shape and having a sort of structure about the side where we can create lots of chances and play in a nice open style.”
Warriors fans will be heartened by the news that John Gemmell returned to the park after a long injury spell to help the Reserves beat East Fife 3-1 on Tuesday. However, there may still be a wait before the star striker is knocking in the goals for the first team again.
“John played in the reserve game in midweek and it was great to see him back playing again,” said Booth. “It may be that this game is coming too early for him, given that he has been out for quite a while and has only played the one game and trained twice, so it may be that little bit early.
“The thing we don't want is for John to have a setback and be back out again, so I think we may wrap him up in cotton wool a little bit longer and see how he goes. But it is great to see him back.”
One certainty not to be playing is Sean Higgins, who is suspended and although that is a big loss Booth is happy to have different striking options.
“We are OK up top, he said. “We have quite a lot of options, Darren Smith can play up there as well, so along with Gemmell we have got Errol [Douglas] and Ross [McNeil] and all three of those players scored in the reserve game which was good. Ross took his goal very well and when a striker like Sean Higgins is out it gives a good opportunity for one of the others to step in.”
However, it is not just the variety of strikers that pleases the boss but also their differing styles, something that adds to his options when picking a team.
“They are all different styles, John and Errol, although they are both big lads, they are completely different in the way they play the game,” said Booth. “Ross is more a sort of off the shoulder player, a sniffer type striker who gets himself into good little areas, whereas Sean is a bit more cultured in that he comes a little bit deeper to get on the ball and he holds the ball quite well, he links up well and is intelligent in his play.
That variety is great for the boss but also gives him a lot to think about when deciding on a team, he joked: “It is good that they are all quite different but it gives me a headache as well.”
As well as getting the team ready for the last few games of the season, Booth is still finding his way around his new club and although things are going well for him he admits it is going to take a while.
Four training sessions, a senior and a reserve game are the sum total of Booth's main chances to see the players but he is getting to know more and more about them. “It is coming slowly but it takes a few weeks,” he said. “I have watched a lot of the DVDs of the last month of games, so have managed to get a little bit of an insight into the players but from a distance almost, then the last couple of weeks I have got a much closer look at them.
“I think it will still take a few weeks yet before I have got a real handle on everyone, including the reserve players.”
It is not just the players in and pushing for a first team place that are being looked at by Booth, he sees his job as having to cover a lot more that that and has been working hard to see as much of Stenhousemuir FC as possible.
“I have been in a lot of the time to see the young boys and have been up at the Academy as well, and that is a really important part of my job, to get up there and see the even younger players coming through and to be a presence up at the Academy,” said Booth, who could certainly use more hours in the day, adding: “There are lots of places to be and only a certain amount of time to do it in.”
Hard work it may be but it is work that Booth is relishing, he concluded: “I am really enjoying it and the lads have made it enjoyable, they have worked really really hard as a club.”