Paint the town red

BRECHINERS are being urged to turn out in the numbers they did for the visits of Dundee and St Johnstone for what chairman, Ken Ferguson, has described as two “massive cup-ties” in the form of the play-off matches with Cowdenbeath (writes Steve Mitchell).

The first game at the Glebe kicks off at 7.45 pm on Wednesday (tonight), with the second leg at Central Park Cowdenbeath taking place with a 2 pm kick-off on Saturday.

The Brechin chairman has urged the local community to turn out and support their local club and play their part in making an already memorable season all the more unforgettable - with the potential of a first division place having a much needed spin off for much more than the football club alone.

“The message both the manager and I have been trying to get over is that, while we have had to dig in and fight to get where we are, we have made that first step and we need the backing of local people to help us go further.

“This is all about moving forward and we have seen what can happen when there is an attractive game in prospect - especially on the back of the St Johnstone fixture.

“We all know the atmosphere in the ground is vital to the performance on the park and we want to get as good an atmosphere as locals can help us create.

“We never set targets, but second third or fourth doesn’t matter in the play-offs, because what you are left with is initially two and then hopefully four cup ties to contend with.

“A rumour has done the rounds in Brechin for the best part of the last three decades that Brechin City don’t want to get into the first division.

“ We can put that straight right away.

“The first division is where we want to be and, if local people can play their part in helping us get there, as the St Johnstone game showed, there are umpteen spin-offs for the local community to be had from achieving that.

“We want to win every single game we compete in and, if that takes us to the first division, then fantastic. We will deal with it.

“We have to ask the fans to bring a friend, bring themselves and lets get an atmosphere inside the Glebe on Wedn’esday evening - one that helps give the players the sort of start in these games that their performances over the last nine months deserve.”

Manager Jim Weir said of the one-nil win that secured his side’s play-off spot: “The last few weeks have been a bit unlike us.

“I think there were a few games where big decisions went against us and we didn’t carry a lot of luck.

“Sometimes you create your own luck and, over the last two games, we have shown what type of team we are.

“Normally we are hard to beat. I am delighted for the players.

“They have been magnificent at times this season, first with the cup run and again on Saturday as we reached the play-offs.

“Over the last two games we have shown what type of team we are.

“We are normally hard to beat, although we have some forced changes again. Big Gerry looks as if he is struggling.

“To be honest the club has had a financial boost from the play-offs and I genuinely feel we deserve better than a fourth place finish in the second division.

“There are a few boys who have been here for a number of years, who have suffered a number of set-backs through the play-offs and now they have the ideal opportunity to try and put that right.

“The key for me on Saturday was defending well. We had a good shape and organisation about us.

“The first goal was always going to be important for us. Rory missed a great chance before he put us ahead with a fabulous goal and we then went on to have two or three unbelievable chances to seal the game.

“There was no big decision in bringing Craig Nelson back in.

“He had a disappointing couple of games and people felt I had left him out last week. That simply wasn’t the case. He was injured.

“Goalkeepers are always punished more for their mistakes and I was delighted to have him back. We needed as much experience as possible on the park and Craig brings that.”

The manager explained that City are going into the play-offs a bit battered and bruised.

“Cowdenbeath obviously came up here and sealed promotion last season and it’s up to us to put that right this time around.

“It’s going to be a couple of difficult games against a side that has recorded some excellent results in the first division. I have nothing but respect for Jimmy Nicholl and the great job he is doing there.”

Looking forward to the first leg at the Glebe, Weir added: “Again it’s a scenario, like the St Johnstone game, where we need the whole of Brechin to turn out.

“The fans have given us magnificent backing this season. Brechiners can honestly be like an extra man by simply turning up and getting behind us against Cowdenbeath.”