Berwick captain Jonny Fairbairn has heaped praise on Rangers’ supporters for the positive atmosphere created during important games in the final third of the season at Shielfield Park.
Unbeaten at home in 2016, improved results ensured Berwick secured League Two safety comfortably, but Fairbairn admitted that without the backing of the fans, it may have been different.
He said: “The atmosphere and support from fans in important games that we had to win really helped to get us over the line at times. Home matches like those against Montrose, Stirling Albion and Clyde spring to mind, times where we were hanging on to a clean sheet.
“It’s perhaps easy to forget how poor we were at some points last season given how the final few months went. We’ve probably been in the best form since I’ve been with the club. But as good as we were in parts of the season, we were equally as bad in other parts. I’m hopeful there have been lessons learned having experienced both extremes in one season, both personally and as a team.
“Our home form in 2016 has been very good. The manager has challenged us to make Shielfield a fortress, somewhere that teams fear coming to. Our task if we’re to be successful next season is now to do that consistently. We’ve built great momentum and we’re looking to carry that into the new campaign. Hopefully the kind of support I spoke of earlier can continue and grow, and in return we can give them something to shout about.”
Milfield-based Fairbairn has penned a new two-year deal with the club, but he revealed that he had questioned his position within the club.
“There were definitely times during the season where I questioned my own future. But under the new gaffer, having seen the players he has already signed and being aware that he’ll be looking for a few more quality additions, I feel we have a chance to be successful next year.
“The manager wants guys here who want to play for Berwick Rangers. He wants them to be committed to the club for the right reasons and some have signed up for two years. By doing that it shows both an investment from the player to the club, but also from the club to player. By signing the right people long-term, it will hopefully build an affiliation between the club, fans and players.”