Berwick Rangers boss Johnny Harvey reflects on first two months

Two months have flown by for Berwick Rangers manager Johnny Harvey, who has now taken charge of eight games at Shielfield Park.

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 12:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 1:36 pm
Berwick Rangers boss Johnny Harvey
Berwick Rangers boss Johnny Harvey

Harvey, 36, was appointed Berwick boss on October 16 after the departure of Robbie Horn and settled in straight away, winning his first match in charge against Gretna 2008 in the Scottish Cup.

That result was followed by two 3-0 losses, with Berwick going down to eight men in the first of those two against Cowdenbeath, but things have taken a swift turn for the better since.

A more than impressive 4-2 away success at Elgin and a vitally important 2-0 victory over bottom of the table Albion Rovers has lifted Berwick to eight points clear of bottom. In fact, Harvey’s side have even closed the gap on the play-offs.

Berwick defeated Albion Rovers 2-0 in a crucial game at Shielfield. Rangers were two points clear of Rovers on Harvey's arrival, and are now eight ahead.

Speaking to the Berwickshire News, the 36-year-old summed up his first couple of months in the hot seat.

“The two months have flown by.

“It’s been difficult, I have been trying to evaluate the whole squad and make changes that I can.

“It was imperative that over the first ten weeks I tried to assess what I had and where I have to improve and I have got a good idea now of what players I’ve got in the dressing room and what players I need to compliment them.”

Berwick are the first SPFL club that Harvey has managed, having moved to the club from Penicuik Athletic who are competing for promotion to the Lowland League from the East of Scotland League.

However, any potential difference in standard has not been a problem for the new boss – who has taken three players with him from Penicuik to Shiefield.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a huge difference [in standard].

“I would be doing the players at Penicuik a disservice if I was to say there was a huge gulf in quality. I think the mentality of the players is the main difference, there’s a commitment from the players at the level I’m at at the moment, where there is a professionalism and big commitments in terms of travelling.”

Shortly after being announced as manager, Harvey told the Berwickshire News that the main objective was safety and that is still the case despite improving fortunes.

“I think safety has to remain the objective until it’s mathematically impossible for us to be relegated. That was the remit when I got the job.

“It’s important that nobody gets carried away, it’s not going to be a quick fix.

“It’s going to be a couple of transfer windows until I really make my own stamp on the team.

“That’s not to say that if we go and win a few games and start moving up the table that my evaluations won’t change.”

Berwick travel across the borders this weekend as they prepare to face Annan Athletic - who they have collected more points than since Harvey's arrival.