John Brownlie says Berwick Rangers "still in the tie"

Berwick boss John Brownlie
Berwick boss John Brownlie

Berwick Rangers manager John Brownlie says his side are "still in the tie" but "have to do better" in the second leg after a 4-0 defeat to Cove Rangers at Balmoral Stadium.

Berwick are all but relegated after a 4-0 defeat in Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon, which leaves them having to thrash the Aberdeen side by the same margin this Saturday to remain in the SPFL.

Given that the Wee Rangers haven't scored in eight matches and Cove conceded 12 times in the league all campaign - that would be a miracle to surpass that of Liverpool's 3-0 comeback against Barcelona, and Tottenham's revival from three goals down in Amsterdam against Ajax.

Speaking shortly after full-time at Balmoral, Brownlie said: "(We are) still in the tie, yeah. But we have got to do a lot better than we did today.

"Cove will be very confident because they were far better than us today over that game. But we are going to change our strategy for next week and have a go at them.

"We need an early goal and we need a bit of luck to go our way as well, because they are decent.

"We are fighting for survival - if the players realise that then we have a chance. They are very quiet in the dressing room right now and they are hurting, which is a good sign. But we have got to do better than today."

Asked whether the players understand the magnitude of the situation the club finds itself in, and to explain the implications of relegation for the club, Brownlie added: "You would have to ask them that, I don't know.

"I realise the size of the situation - that's why I came.

"If you go into the Lowland League you have Kelty Hearts, East Kilbride, Spartans, East Stirlingshire. All of these teams want to go back up. So you have a really big task to come back again. They (the players) have got to realise the gravity of it. I hope they do."

How, then, do Berwick attempt to come back from four goals behind against a side as confident as Cove Rangers?

"We will make next week's training light, bubbly and try to make it positive - which is difficult in the situation.," Brownlie said. "But next week we will have a go at them.

"If we have a go at them next week and we get knocked out then that's fine but let's have a go at them. Let's show that we are better players than that."

Lewis Barr, who came on as a substitute after 65 minutes, was arguing with travelling supporters at the end of the game on Saturday - with tensions seeming to spill over.

The manager said he didn't see the incident but understands the frustrations of supporters.

"I never heard anything about that but the fans are upset and he's upset.

"You can understand the supporters. They have travelled a long way today and we have given them a performance that wasn't very good - let's be fair about it.

"It's not as if we were unlucky. You have got to do better and have a bit of pride in yourself. That's what I'm looking for next week."