Little strengthens his hand

IAN Little strengthened his grip on the full-time managerial role at Berwick on Saturday when the caretaker boss saw his side beat in-form Montrose 5-3 at Links Park.

It made it three wins out of four under his charge, the ten points gained lifting Rangers to fourth in the table.

Next up for the Borderers it’s Clyde at home and the stand-in boss admits that if his side records a victory in that one he may even allow himself to take a seat in the chair vacated by his pedecessor, Jimmy Crease, who quit the club following last month’s shock 4-0 Scottish Cup defeat at the hands of Deveronvale.

Up until now Little has refused to sit in the manager’s seat until such time as he may get the job on a permanent basis.

The 38 year-old has until the end of December to persuade the Berwick board to give him the job full-time, but after Saturday’s win over Montrose he said:

“I’m not looking at it like that now. As far as I am concerned I am the manager of Berwick Rangers until the end of the year. I know I will be judged on results, but so far things have been working in my favour so I’m not even thinking about the caretaker role.

“All I want to do is put out a team capable of winning every game.

“If the directors then see fit to give me the job full-time then that’s great, because I will then do the job to the best of my ability.

“The one thing I want to do, however, is enjoy it. As long as I am enjoying my role I will be happy.”

Little heaped praise on his stand-by defence, who despite conceding three goals, had stood up well to the Montrose attack on Saturday.

“We went into the game without two regular centre halves. I asked Steven Thomson to play there, and despite a shaky start he did well,” he said.

“We lost an early goal, but we bounced back well. A lot of the credit for that has to go to the defence, who did really well in the second half, but the strikers also played their part.

“For a spell. Darren Gribben and Stuart Noble, who each scored twice, looked as if they might score every time we went forward.

“It was a little nervy towards the end when they came back to 4-3, but we managed to see it out with a late goal from Ross Gray.”

Little says Chris Townsley is likely to be available again for this weekend’s visit of Clyde, but Chris McLeod, who has a groin injury, could be sidelined for several weeks.

“It gives me a headache because Steven Thomson did well in central defence last weekend and I have to ask myself whether ot not I should change it. It’s a difficult one, but these are the decisions you have to make as manager.

“On Saturday it was only when I changed the system that we started to play better. These are the challenges I like, because I am not afraid to make changes if I think they are for the better.

“It’s the same when it comes to players. I want an honest approach from them, if not I know there are others out there who would love the chance.”