BRECHIN City manager Jim Weir has described his team as having “two cup finals” to play in the next fortnight.
The games are this Saturday at Stenhousemuir, followed by the visit of promotion-seeking Ayr United at Glebe Park a week on Saturday.
There is no room for any more slip ups.
Weir feels that to make the play-offs now, his side must pick up six points out of the remaining six.
Of course, that will be a difficult ask against, first of all, a Warriors’ side fighting for their very survival and then an Ayr team that are maybe under less pressure than their hosts on the last scheduled day of the season.
Reflecting on Saturday’s narrow defeat at home to near-nerighbours Forfar Athletic, a game in which City played for 65 minutes with ten men, the manager said:
“The only thing I will say about the match official is that I have had him referee a game I have been involved in four times and he has sent off a player in every game.
“What concerns us is that there was a turn to the linesman before decisions were made - including one when the assistant was thirty yards away at a throw-in.
“Forfar could have had a second decision go their way, because, from where we are, the lad Hilson had won a penalty.
“He certainly didn’t take a dive, which is what he was yellow carded for.”
Looking ahead to what he termed two cup finals, Weir said that the majority of the squad should be available once again, following suspensions to key players.
“In the last six weeks there is no doubt discipline and injuries have cost us, but, above all, a lack of consistency has cost us. We should have been in the play-offs weeks ago.
“It would be a shame for the players who got us into this position in the first place if we miss out.
“All we can do now is go in at Stenhousemuir on Saturday and try and get three points.
“We look fragile at the moment, but we will have McCallister, Moyes and possibly McLaughlan back and you never know what sort of lift that can give us.
“On the down sid, Paul McLean is suspended, and David McKenna will now be suspended.
“It’s such a sorry end after what was, up until the cup tie with St Johnstone, such a wonderful season.
Returning to Saturday’s game, and the loss of a soft goal, Weir added: “There have been four or five goals that our goalkeeper shouldn’t have lost during the course of the season and I have told Craig that.
“To be fair to Craig, though, he is a good professional. Is it the time to throw a young goalkeeper into the mix? I would argue probably not.
“Our two centre-halfs ‘Whitey’ and Fusco, battled away again and young Megginson was once again a willing work horse in the forward line.
“We should have scored just after half-time, and it’s fine saying this goalkeeper or that goalkeeper not having a save to make.
“How many saves was Craig Nelson asked to make?
“The sending off and the goal apart, we were never under considerable pressure for any sustained period in the game, even with ten men.”
With his mind firmly fixed on that trip to Stenhousemuir, the manager continued: “There are a few lads who need to have a wee look in the mirror next Saturday morning and, if they are not prepared to turn up and roll their sleeves up, they would be as well staying at home.
“We face a couple of battles.
“East Fife are surprised to be where they are and John (Robertson) has said as much. We know that if we want to stop them from overtaking us the the team that performed so well for the first eight months of the season has to turn up again.”