Berwick Rangers boss John Coughlin admitted his disappointment with his side’s reaction to their 3-0 defeat to Spartans on Tuesday evening. Highlights of the defeat are available here.

Speaking to club legend Eric Tait following the defeat, Coughlin described the performance as ‘apathetic’ and ‘abject’.

“I didn’t recognise a lot of what was going on out there. A lot of the players who were praised for their efforts against Kilmarnock and Hibernian go out tonight and struggled from the first minute to the last, and it might have been worse.

“It was a terrible performance. We looked flat, we didn’t look interested, we lacked energy and had no appetite to win the football match. It’s arguably the worst defeat I’ve had in my two tenures here. We were terrible tonight and there’s no hiding from that.”

Coughlin continued to demand a response from his players ahead of Saturday’s league opener in Arbroath, declaring: “I need to put a team on the park on Saturday that will show something.

“There was a lot of belief around the place at the end of the season but we haven’t shown anything tonight to back that up. We have to try rectify that situation as quickly as possible.”

Coughlin will almost certainly be without Sean Mackie who picked up an injury playing for Hibernian in friendly action

Darren Lavery struggled to make an impact on Tuesday
Darren Lavery struggled to make an impact on Tuesday

on Tuesday. Coughlin admitted: “When you hear that it’s a blow. We’d have been looking to bring him and Ben Stirling back into the frame on Saturday, we need fresh legs and we need fresh minds.

“We look tired mentally as well as physically. The guys looked like they couldn’t wait for the game to finish, and that’s a huge disappointment to me. Usually with my sides you know you’ll get a scrap and a fight out of them.”

Coughlin continued to reiterate his desire to add to his forward-line. “We’ve been looking to add to that area since day one. We know we’re light in that area. I was secure in the knowledge that the players at the back were doing well, but now there are more questions than answers going into the season.

“But there is no doubt we’re light up top. The goal threat wasn’t there. We couldn’t get Darren Lavery or Michael McKenna into the game at all. Whether we can afford another striker is the next question.”

Coughlin finished: “I’ve got a busy Thursday now trying to put a shape into our team and trying to get the players into the mindset of ‘we’ve got to go up there and win’, I don’t think a draw is enough now.”