Jonny Fairbairn says Berwick Rangers have had "warning signs" but safety still possible
Ex-Berwick Rangers player and current Coldstream manager Jonny Fairbairn says relegation “warning signs” have been there for years, but insists the club can stay in the SPFL through the play-offs.
Fairbairn (29) played with Berwick for six years and has now gone into management – having just completed his first season with Coldstream, finishing a respectable eighth in the East of Scotland League.
Speaking to the Berwickshire News about his side’s season, before the change of management at Shielfield, Fairbairn commented on the situation at his old club.
“The warning signs have been there since I was at the club. We were finishing too close to the bottom of the table and the play-off place.
“It looks as if the club is in a downward spiral and is finding it difficult to get out.”
Fairbairn is still working with the club regularly, often with the 20s, and holds Berwick Rangers close.
“I try to get to as many games as I can and give my support in any way I can,” he added. “I hold the club in very high regard. I spent six years there. It’s very close to my heart and what is going on right now is very worrying.”
The young manager, though, is still hopeful that Berwick can overcome Cove Rangers in the play-off – and adds the club will be safe, irrespective of what happens.
“I’d like to go on record and wish them the best of luck in the play-offs,” he added.
“We need to make sure the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed has a league club going forward. The town should be very proud of that.
“I don’t buy into the club going out of existence with relegation – it will definitely survive and, I’m sure, compete to get back into the league. But it’s a situation nobody wants to see them in.
“They have a chance to rectify that in the play-offs but it’s going to be a tough task for them. We (Coldstream) played Brora (losing 6-0), so Cove must be a fantastic side to finish ahead of them.”
But Fairbairn insists that hope remains.
“There has only been one team so far to beat a league side in the play-off.
“There is an element of the non-league side coming up against a league side and the tradition and history of the two clubs.
“That can definitely work in Berwick’s favour.”