Braced for big week

THE Brechin City manager has re-iterated the fact that the league remains the club’s priority despite the fact that it is a big week ahead of the Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at home to St. Johnstone on Saturday (writes Steve Mitchell).

At the time of going to press on Tuesday (yesterday), City were making the short trip to Station Park for a re-arranged derby fixture.

Speaking ahead of that fixture, Jim Weir said: “We have a very difficult week coming up. First of all a game against a Forfar side, who, like ourselves, have lost just once at home this season.

“Once that is out of the way we can start talking about the Scottish Cup.

“I was delighted to pick up the three points on Saturday, although I didn’t feel we started the game against Stenhousemuir well.

“We lost a poor goal from a set play and one of the things I tried to stress to the players was Stenhousemuir’s strength and corners and free-kicks.

“They actually scored a similar goal in midweek against Ayr United.

“We got the lift on half-time with Rory’s excellent turn and finish. There were similarities in our situation to the one Ayr gave themselves against us last week.

“It gives everyone a lift at an important time and allows you to go on and build from it.

“The goals we scored in the second half were both excellent finishes and we were delighted to net off the end of a set play.

“Neil Janczyk has shown on a couple of occasions this season that he has the ability to do that.

“We created a number of chances in the second half. Kevin Byers had a couple of efforts and Rory should have got another at the death.

“However, Stenhousemuir were always in the game because they are a decent side that are on a good run.

“Davie (Irons) has brought a bit of confidence to them and they have a really physical threat there, but it was important for us to bounce back after our last couple of results.

“The third goal helped us relax a wee bit. At two-one, considering the goals we lost during the week, you are always that wee bit edgy.

“One thing we have been guilty of this season is individual errors and on Tuesday night that was apparent, although there was an improvement in the second half of our display on Saturday.”

In a week when Brechin’s players want to avoid injuries at all costs, long-term absentee, Charlie King, apart, there were no injury concerns for Tuesday evening’s ‘derby’ at Station Park.

Indeed, the City midfield received a boost with the return of player-of-the-year candidate Craig Molloy to the squad after he served his one-match ban on Saturday.

Stenhousemuir manager Davie Irons had nothing but praise for the job being done by his former St Johnstone team mate when he spoke after Saturday’s game.

He said: “I thought we were arguably the better side in the first half.

“However, after half-time and after McAllister showed his quality at the goal, Brechin upped their game and I can have no real complaints about the final result.

“We allowed Brechin to dictate the game in the second half. The space between our midfield players and striker got bigger nd bigger and a player like the boy Janczyk loves that. It gives him time and space to play in.

“Our back four were also too easily bullied by big McAllister, who is a class act. His physical presence also brought players into the game for Brechin, which I felt was an important factor.”