Coughlin has no concerns following Betfred Cup elimination

Berwick John Coughlin believes that he has seen sufficient evidence of his side’s character despite the ‘Gers failure to win a game during their 2016/17 Betfred Cup campaign.

“In relation to character shown over the period, I’ve no concerns. We showed that we have that on Saturday in the second half when it was real backs to the walls stuff. I think we have it in abundance, and that’s a positive going into the season. How we transfer that into winning matches is another thing.

Coughlin hopes his side can secure their first competitive win of the season this evening.

Coughlin hopes his side can secure their first competitive win of the season this evening.

“I’ve known that they’ve had it (character) since the players came in. Now it’s time to get on the front foot, to get out and win some football matches, and hopefully that’s where tonight comes in.”

Coughlin did admit that things were made difficult for him during the Betfred Cup campaign, with circumstance dictating that he couldn’t find a consistent squad selection throughout the Group Stage.

“The whole period was mired a little bit because of the amount of players in and out. We didn’t have a settled side throughout the games due to holidays and various other reasons, so that was a little disappointing.

“I’ve not had a big squad to choose from and so some of the younger players have had time on the park against good opposition – though in the long-run that may well be a bonus.

Coughlin did reveal that despite enjoying the Betfred Cup campaign, he will be altering how he approaches the competition to lessen the load on his squad.

“It’s been a mixed-bag to be honest. I know already for next season that I’ll be taking a lot less, if any friendlies prior to the Betfred Cup. Generally we’ll be one of the smallest sides in the groups.

“You’re playing Premier League clubs – even Morton played like a Premier League club. I felt they were more impressive on the ball and tested us more than Kilmarnock.

“The result, 2-0, doesn’t sound that bad. But the way the game unfolded after a tough run of fixtures was about the worst thing that could have happened to us.

“I think the struggle can be seen around the division too, with some of the teams taking heavy defeats. I think most managers would say it’s been ‘a game too far’.

“So whilst the scheduling has made things difficult, fitness-wise I don’t have any concerns.”

Berwick Rangers take on Spartans in the #IRNBRUCUP this evening. Kick off is 7:45pm at Shielfield Park. Fans can view tonight’s match preview here.