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    Paul Hartley Preview Montrose/Peterhead Games 

    Saturday, January 28, 2012 4:48:29 AM

    Today I would like to extend a warm welcome to Ray Farningham , the players, coaches, supporters and directors of Montrose as they visit Recreation Park for the second time this season , we are looking forward to the game on the back of good results over Annan Athletic and Stranraer who had been our nearest challengers in the league title race this season but we must watch out for the ever improving Queen’s Park team who moved into third place in the division after their victory last week at Galabank. However we must look to continue our good run of results, now unbeaten in our last twelve league matches, we are in a position where we want to be but we know there is a lot of hard work still to be done. I’ve always said I just want to make sure that we are in the mix at the end of the season and to do that we must keep doing the things we have set and maintain standards. Today’s game against Montrose will be another hard game, Ray Farningham has some good players who have been a danger to us already this season, although we won the previous game at Recreation Park 4-2, at Links Park it was a lot tighter and we were happy to draw 1-1, in Martin Boyle they have a real live wire and potential match winner who will need to be watched closely today. We know it will be tough but we are at home and our home form has been excellent since the start of the season and we will look to maintain that.

    It has been a lot of hard work to achieve where we are already this season and the players deserve special praise as they have been absolutely terrific , with their attitude and work ethic, the way they approach training and games has been first class – but it is a team effort including all the back room, my assistant, physio, coaches, kit men they have all contributed and we are seeing some rewards just now but we know there is a long way to go till the end of the season – nothing is won in January!

    On Tuesday night we face another tough game against Peterhead , who at the start of this season many people seen as favourites but it has not quite worked out like that, but with the change of manager you can see the rewards for the work that Jim McInally has put in already, winning their last three league games and beginning to look like the side many expected earlier in the season, so we know it will be another testing evening, Peterhead have so many good players in their squad, so we will need to be aware of Rory McAllister, Bryan Deasley, Martin Bavidge and Dennis Wyness, all potential match winners. We will go into the game with confidence again but it will be tough.

    We are disappointed to lose Kevin McHattie, who has returned to Hearts, he was terrific for us, he came here and did a terrific job, I would like to thank him for his efforts and hopefully he goes back and pushes for a first team spot at Tynecastle. I am hopeful we can bring someone in before Saturday’s match against Montrose, I will try my best because left back is a specialised position and I don’t want to change the shape of the team. (Note - Ross McKinnon has been signed on loan from SPL side Motherwell until the end of the season).

    A huge thank you to Steve Lomas at St. Johnstone for agreeing to extend Stevie May’s loan period until the end of the season, it is a big bonus for us, the players have taken to him, he is a terrific kid he works his socks off and his goals have helped, but it is not just his goals but his overall game has been brilliant for the team.

    Now we are at the top of the league and challenging it was pleasing to see a larger crowd at our last home match, so hopefully that trend can continue and we give the fans something to cheer about, which helps the players – the support at Stair Park got behind the team and shared with the players in their delight and appeared to enjoy the occasion – which their backing deserved.


    Paul Hartley

    Managers Corner