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    Paul Hartley previews Stranraer game 

    Friday, November 04, 2011 4:24:57 PM

    Today I would like to extend a warm welcome to Keith Knox, Stephen Aitken and the players, supporters and directors of Stranraer FC as they visit Recreation Park at the start of the second quarter of the league fixtures.

    We were disappointed to go out of the Scottish Cup at Annan last Saturday but it now lets us focus solely on the league this season, which has always been our main focus. We now enter the second quarter of the season with a decent points tally after the first quarter but hopefully we can improve on that as the season goes on. It is a big game for the club this weekend against Stranraer. Stranraer themselves have been on a great run of form, having been on a eight game unbeaten run before losing a last minute goal at home against Queen’s Park last Saturday . We found it tough down at Stair Park in our opening game of the season when we managed to get a good result winning 3-2 after going down to ten men, we know what to expect and I’m sure it will be a good game, our home form has been pretty good this season so we will look to maintain that again by five o’clock this evening.

    The squad has been totally utilised in the last couple of weeks to keep all the players on their toes and I will continue to change and freshen up the team which will happen throughout the season, today Scott Bain will serve the last game of his two match ban picked up after his red card at Elgin so this gives another opportunity to Craig McDowall who did so well in our last league match against Berwick Rangers, Craig’s attitude in training has been first class and he deserves another opportunity to show what he can do. Darren Young and Robbie Winters will both return to the squad today after missing last Saturday’s cup tie at Annan when both were rested.

    This week is a big week of football for the club after today’s game against Stranraer we travel to Broadwood on Tuesday evening to play Clyde in a rearranged fixture due to last weeks Scottish Cup replay, then next Saturday we travel to Peterhead which will be another tough fixture, but we must focus on the Stranraer game first, you can never look to far ahead in football. It will be a tough week coming up but that’s why we have the size of squad we have, we will have to use everybody again probably during the forthcoming week.

    Ryan Caddis has now left the club, Ryan felt for his best interest he wanted to move on to regain first team football , we wish him all the best, it just didn’t quite work out for him at Recreation Park.

    Every game is difficult in this league but we will do our best to secure three more vital league points today against Stranraer, who are one of the best teams we have played against this season and they have strengthened their squad since the opening day fixture. However we are at home so the onus is on us to go out and secure a victory.

    Enjoy the game
    Paul Hartley

    Managers Corner