Dangerous Opposition With Nothing To Lose

Last updated : 09 April 2008 By Ed_ScottishFitba

The days of SPL football are drawing to a close for Gretna but the makeshift sides that Mark Wadsworth is putting out are making the most of their time in the top flight. The Black and Whites meet St Mirren tonight and the visiting manager Gus MacPherson is hoping for his side to notch up their third win against Gretna after clocking up two victories at Love Street. Teams that have been relegated can still spring a surprise on an unsuspecting opposition and MacPherson reckons the home sides plucky performance against Inverness Caledonian Thistle served as a warning to his own players ahead of their game at Fir Park. He said: "
We will go into the game in a confident frame of mind but the last two games were close, 1-0 and 2-0, so there wasn't a great deal in them. Gretna have to be given credit for their performances since all their trials and tribulations came to light. In their last three games - against Celtic, St Mirren and Inverness - they played very well and worked extremely hard. That was no surprise though. It hasn't been easy for them but they have gone about their business in the same way in terms of attitude."

There is a fair possibility that the crowd at Fir Park will be outnumbered by officials and players after Saturday's game with Caley Thistle attracted just 431. But MacPherson insists there will be no excuses to be offered as far as his players are concerned. He said: "
Every game is difficult and our players are professional footballers who do the job and make sure they are prepared. They know it's going to be a difficult game and they have to approach it in the right manner. There may be an issue with the atmosphere and we know it's going to be different from the fantastic atmosphere at Easter Road. The problems with the surface have been well-documented also but there are a few pitches not in the best state at the moment so we know what to expect."

MacPherson was thrilled with the attitude of his men at the weekend and has called for more of the same against Gretna. The Buddies came back into the game on Saturday after Hibs scored two goals in the first 5 minutes. The Paisley club refused to crumble and only the heroics of home goalkeeper Andy McNeil prevented them from leaving Easter Road with a share of the points.  He said: "
The spirit is very good. I felt we played pretty well on Saturday after a poor start and, after the first 20 minutes, we held our own and created a few chances. If I get a similar performance to the second half at Easter Road in tomorrow night's game I'll be pleased."

Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)

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