John Coughlin has called on his Berwick players to maintain their motivation levels until the very last game of the season – starting with today’s showdown against East Stirlingshire.
Just a point at Ochilview would mathematically ensure the ‘Gers cannot finish in bottom spot and, currently ten points adrift of Annan Athletic in fourth, it looks highly unlikely that the ‘Gers can achieve a play-off spot with five Scottish League Two games remaining.
But Coughlin won’t allow the remaining games to be treated as dead rubbers and backed his players to finish the season on the highest possible note.
“It’s up to the players to maintain their levels of motivation so we can continue playing the way we have been and finish the season as high up the table as possible,” said Coughlin. “At the end of the day, there are still contracts up for grabs and although I’ve made a lot of decisions regarding which players I want at the club next season, there is still time over the next five games for that to change either way, so I need to see that attitude and application that has been key to our recent form.”
Berwick Rangers Team News:
Coughlin said after last week’s match against Elgin City that Steven Notman would be ‘unlikely’ to feature in today’s game after striking himself in the face while blocking a cross inside the first ten minutes, and the manager was proven right. Notman required ten stitches in the gash above his eyelid and they were only taken out yesterday, thus ruling him out of today’s match.
Elsewhere, Dylan Stevenson is fit to play having also gone off in last week’s match after taking a blow to the ribs which affected his breathing, while Allan Walker will also return to the matchday squad after he completed 90 minutes for the U20s in their win at Ochilview in midweek. Billy Bald has also rejoined Penicuik Athletic on loan.
East Stirlingshire Team News:
It hasn’t been a great season for the ‘Shire and their task to avoid finishing in 10th is made somewhat more difficult by the likely absence of Chris Townsley and Neil McCabe, all of whom also missed East Stirlingshire’s last match, a 3-0 defeat at Stirling Albion.
Nevertheless the home side will be up for the fight, knowing that a win could bring them to within seven points of ninth-placed Montrose.
Having conceded just once in six games, the ‘Gers go into this one as favourites with SPFL sponsors Ladbrokes.
East Stirlingshire – 11/4
Draw – 14/5
Berwick Rangers – 17/20
Mike Roncone will be assisted by both Brian Templeton and David Dunne.
Enjoy the match and have a safe journey!