McGovern hatches his three-point plan as City travel south
Captain believes his side is on par with any team in division
Elgin City captain JonPaul McGovern believes the finest of margins will determine the outcome of League 2 this season.
City are looking to stay within reach of league leaders Stirling Albion, who are eight points ahead of them, when they travel to Forthbank today.
McGovern, who previously played in the fourth tier with the Binos and Clyde, feels there is little to separate any of the teams and the league placings are likely to be tight come the end of the season.
McGovern said: “We can see from the results this season that anyone can beat anyone. It’s just the way the squads are and finances dictate that.
“A lot of teams have got a strong 11, with one or two who can come on and do a job.
“If a team is missing one or two through injury or suspension it can affect form. That’s just the way it is in this league as no team can afford to carry a big squad.
“We have some very good players on the bench, who are chomping at the bit to make sure they are in the starting line-up.
“The most important thing is we are learning as a squad.”
McGovern is well aware of the challenge posed by his former club, where he spent a short spell in 2015, playing just four games before moving on to Clyde in September that year.
The 36-year-old, formerly Elgin City manager Jim Weir has challenged his Black and Whites to produce an even better dislay than last weekend’s 3-0 win against Montrose when they face League 2 leaders Stirling Albion today.
City produced the perfect response to successive defeats by Annan Athletic and Berwick Rangers when they returned to winning ways against the Ga- of Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town, said: “It’s a big game for us, a real test. Stirling have had a fantastic start so far, they have got a good young manager and some really good players.
“They have made some good signings and there is an expectation from a lot of people that they will be up there competing at the top of the league.”
McGovern is refusing to treat Dave Mackay’s side any differently despite Elgin recording an impressive 3-0 win against Montrose last weekend and he added: “We are going into the game full of confidence after a great result, but it wouldn’t have been any different had we lost the game.
“We have got to go into every game with confidence. It’s not arrogance but we know we’ve got players who, on their day, can beat anyone in this league.
“We just have to put our gameplan into action and hopefully get the result.” ble Endies. Montrose had been second in the table prior to the loss but Stirling pose a greater challenge having stormed to the top of the league with six wins from their opening seven games.
Weir feels the Binos will pose an even sterner test at Forthbank and he said: “We have to up our game from last week because we are playing against the league leaders, who have already beaten Montrose and Peterhead.
“Winning breeds confidence – we know that from the run we went on earlier in the season.
“It was unfortunate to lose the two games back-to-back before that but the good thing is now that is out of our system.
“I felt the scoreline was a bit harsh on Montrose, they were particularly strong in the second half.
“Sometimes that happens in football, though. They are a good side, so I was very happy to get the three points.”
Weir has been impressed by Dave Mackay’s side so far, adding: “They have real experience up front but they have been scoring goals from all over the park.
“They have found a system that seems to be working well, with Callum Morrison and Darren Smith playing particularly well in the forward areas.”
Elgin have a fully-fit squad with the exception of attacker Shane Sutherland, who is continuing his recovery from a ligament injury. Airdrie have put their former under-20s coach, Stephen Findlay, in charge of the first team.
The troubled League One club revealed Findlay would take the team on match days and work with director of football Gordon Dalziel and skipper Marc Fitzpatrick during training sessions.
Findlay had a successful spell in charge of the club’s under-20 side before leaving for a role with Queen’s Park in 2015 and later had a brief stint in charge of East of Scotland Juniors side Fauldhouse United.
His appointment provides some stability on the pitch after previous head coach Mark Wilson left on June 17.
Donald Jennow and then Willie Aitchison took up the role on an interim basis but both had left by midAugust and the injured Fitzpatrick has been taking the team in recent weeks.
The Lanarkshire club was thrown into financial uncertainty in June when majority shareholder Tom Wotherspoon stepped down as chairman and Jim Ballantyne returned to the position.
In a statement, Findlay said: “I am delighted to be back at Airdrie and look forward to working with everyone, new faces and old alike.
“It is a slightly different challenge this time around but I am relishing it. The club has a young group of players keen to succeed and we all look forward to seeing their progression.”
Airdrie sit in eighth place in League One and host second-bottom Queen’s Park today.
BY ANDY SKINNER