At the end of a long five week run of home games coach John Sludden says the aims and objectives have been pretty much met as Shire now prepare to hit the road again.
The team has won its last four matches, scoring 22 goals in the process, and the weekend 5-0 victory over Selkirk now means Shire are nestled in to second place in the Lowland League table.
The aim remains still to go one better than second, but John says the basic targets have been achieved, at least in the short-term, and the players have now set themselves up for the kind of run he knows will be necessary if that ultimate goal is to be reached.
“We can’t ask very much more of the boys in terms of goals scored, goals against and the points tally, which is the most important thing,” he said. “We want to win games first and foremost, but the manner in which we are winning them can only be good for us.”
Shire have been playing catch-up with the rest of the league since the very first game of the season when the trip to Edinburgh University was postponed. And there are still games to be made up on their nearest rivals.
That’s one of the benefits of a win like Saturday, as Shire played while their opponents sat idle, said the coach.
“When games are cancelled we want to play because of the fact that we are games behind. It’s important to take advantage of that and get the three points and get us further up the league. We spoke about that in the build-up to the game and we have managed to do that,” said John.
Selkirk were very willing opponents and gave Shire a few problems in the early part of the game. The coach says he was expecting their onslaught but was grateful the Shire defence proved more resilient than in the teams’ previous meeting when Selkirk had scored seven.
“We felt that in the first fifteen minutes they would come and have a go at us,” he said. “So it was important that defensively we were switched on and then we got stronger as the game went on.
“We scored a good first goal and after the second we just got stronger. We scored five and created another three or four other chances as well which is all very pleasing.”
Although the coach is delighted to get back into second place in the league he says it’s important not to become distracted and instead to focus purely and simply on each game the team plays.
“We must focus only on ourselves and not bother about anyone else,” said John. “We must continue to keep winning and improve our points tally.”
Listen to coach John Sludden’s full post-game interview by clicking on the link below :