This Saturday The Warriors are at home again for another Cinch League 2 encounter. This time our visitors are Forfar Athletic who joined the division after relegation from League 1 last season.
Heading into the match the Warriors sit 9thin the table, level on points with 10th place Cowdenbeath. Although this could all change with Cowdenbeath playing on the Friday night against Edinburgh City. The boys will have their sights set on getting the 3 points which would make possible leapfrogging either Stranraer or Albion Rovers who play each other this weekend. Forfar sit 4th in the table with an aim to keeping themselves in the playoff spots.
The Warriors have lost 2 on the bounce after the victory over Annan Athletic, however Saturdays loss to Elgin was a significant improvement performance wise from the defeat away to Stranraer. Forfar did win against Albion Rovers, however this was their first win in 6 prior matches.
As always, Warriors TV caught up with Stenhousemuir Manager Stephen Swift before Thursday night’s training session.
Another disappointing result on Saturday, but as you said post-match, not a disappointing performance. Can you give us your final thoughts on the game?
I alluded to on Saturday that we’re doing the right things and playing well. The Stranraer performance was totally unacceptable, but everyone seen on Saturday the effort and commitment that the boys put in. And when things aren’t going for you, it’s difficult and you need to keep sticking together and things will turn. We have good players here, there’s no doubt about that. Obviously, it’s been a 21 man swing in regards to new players and that’s obviously affecting us, but we’re hoping that we can improve on Saturdays performance and be better in both boxes. We need to stop leaking stupid goals and, in the final third, be a bit more ruthless and I think if we do that, there will be some positive results coming.
It’s a big squad with Adam Brown and Robert Thomson in particular hurting for not starting, but I feel they’ve done enough to be in your thoughts for the weekend. How much are they desperate to be starting week in, week out?
I think it’s the same for everybody and I’ve just said to them there that there was players that were hurting, and they’ve shown that at training this week that they’ve got that hunger. That’s exactly what we need and they need to impress me. They all need to buckle down or they’ll never get in this team. It’s a long season and we’ll pick the team that we feel is right for that particular day. Those guys can’t have any complaints, because after the Stranraer performance, it could’ve been anybody. And like you say, they are big players for us and they need to step up to the mark and that’s what they’ve been told as do a lot of the players.
Saturday will see us play everyone in the league. Aside from Kelty and Stranraer, we’ve matched up with every team and really should have had more to show for the team’s efforts. How is your assessment of the first quarter of the season?
To be honest, we need to look and say it’s been a dreadful start, results wise. There has been some really good performances in games and we should’ve come away with more. But, having said that, I’ve got to say that the first quarter has been dreadful. Can we finish it off positively and get us off into a good start for the next quarter? Well, that’s the aim but I think we need to own it as being a disastrous start for us, and we just need to hope that we can turn this around with good performances as well as results to back it up.
You’ve mentioned before about the strength in having a big squad. Does that also make your team selection difficult with trying to keep a squad happy whilst trying to keep a fairly consistent starting 11?
It’s always difficult and that’s my job as the manager. The first 11 are happy and it’s the rest of the squad that aren’t. You’ve got to communicate with them and tell them why they’ve not been chosen and what they need to do to improve and if they’re chapping on the door and doing what we’ve asked, then we can’t ignore them. I think it creates a good competitive environment and creates a good culture throughout the club and that’s exactly what we’re looking for. We just need things to start falling our way, and there’s a lot of positives in the club and how we’re trying to do things, we just need results to go our way.
Forfar come to Ochilview on Saturday with ex captains Ross Meechan and Andy Munro as As y standout players. What do you expect from our opponents?
I think they’ll be physical, they’ll play with two dynamic strikers and they’re high on confidence having picked up some good results. They’ve got a great blend of experience and youth. They’ve got good youth in the wide areas and great experience at the back with Steven Anderson and Andy Munro as you mentioned. They’re going to be one of the better teams in the league and they’re going to be up there at the end, so we know it’ll be a tough game. But I believe if we play well against anybody, we can go and get a result and that’s the belief that we’ve got to carry.
As you say, this is a winnable game and it’s helped mores by being at home, do you have any messages for the fans that will be coming along to Ochilview Park on Saturday?
I’ve said before how patient that fans have been. I feel for them because they’ve not had an awful lot to sing about, but all we can do is tell them that we are working really hard and are confident that these results will come because we really appreciate their support and hope that they can get right behind the boys on Saturday.
And finally, how is the squad looking for Saturday?
Jordan Tapping is 50/50 at the moment. Jon Craig has broken his collarbone, but Darren Christie returns.
Match Entry: Both home and away fans can enter via pay at the gate or you can purchase your ticket in advance by using Fanbase. Adult admission costing £14, concessions £9 and under 16’s just £5.
Live Stream: If you can make the match, Warriors TV has you covered with PPV commentary from Cameron McIntrye and Craig G Telfer. PPV is available for just £10 here.
Getting Here: Click here for details of how to get to Ochilview by car or train.
Season Card Holders: Enter by the turnstile and the Ticket Number will be shown.
The Pie Hut: Food and drinks will be available to be purchased once again from the Pie Hut.
The Wee Bar: The Wee Bar is open from 12pm with all fans welcome.
Face Coverings: Face coverings are not mandatory inside the ground but fans are encouraged to continue to wear these. Masks should be worn when moving around the ground.
Matchday Programme: The matchday programme is available via donation on entry to the ground.