Defender Adam Murray got the encouragement of coach John Sludden for his performances over the last couple of games and now he’s hoping to be part of a team that can string some wins together and get back to within touching distance of Lowland League leaders East Kilbride.
The 20 year-old shares the common frustration of going through the highs and lows of inconsistent results over the course of September; something illustrated by great 4-1 wins against Cumbernauld Colts and Stirling University and disappointing, narrow defeats at the hands of East Kilbride and Spartans.
Adam says this weekend’s game against Gretna 2008 at Ochilview would be as good a place to start building some consistency as any.
“We’ve said it now for weeks. We can’t be a team that wins a game then loses a game,” he said. “We’ve got to start getting a run going and getting the wins in and that’s the main thing we’re aiming for now.”
He also appreciates that there haven’t been too many times this season where defence and attack have played well together on the same day. Often this term when the strikers have been on fire the team has shipped goals and when the defence has been on the top of their game they haven’t had the advantage of goals at the other end. Adam says it would be good to put both pieces of the team together on the same day.
“We need a complete performance,” he said. “The boys up front have been scoring goals for fun and I think maybe the defence feels we’ve let them down a bit. So I think we need to play as a team where we all work together.”
Shire will face Gretna 2008 at Ochilview this weekend. The last-minute defeat at Spartans last Saturday has left the team playing catch-up, looking to close the eight point gap to the league leaders.
On that basis, Adam says the most important thing about the Gretna game is simply to win it, but he says they need to get things right at both ends of the pitch as well.
“On the face of it any win will do,” he said. “But it has to be more than that. From a defensive point of view we need to concentrate on keeping a clean sheet and then give the strikers the chance to score goals. Both strikers and defenders each doing their job and getting a win.”
The question of whether Shire can make up the ground lost to the league leaders has been on the lips of many people over the last week. Coach John Sludden is certainly not giving up the fight and believes the league has a long way to go yet.
Adam thinks it’s maybe time to concentrate on the old football cliche of taking one game at a time and not worrying too much just yet about title challenges.
“We aren’t going to think too much about it,” he said of the gap to East Kilbride. “I think we need to take it week-by-week and try to play as a team, get a run of wins and see where that takes us,” he said.