Rangers set to take on league leaders

BERWICK will go into Saturday’s home match against league leaders Annan with a renewed confidence about them.

Just a couple of weeks ago Rangers were being written off as a set of under-achievers with manager Jimmy Crease reading the riot act to his players after what he described as a ‘shambolic’ performance against Montrose.

But back to back victories over Peterhead and Clyde have re-instilled the self belief which was perhaps starting to drip from the squad.

And they will go into the game against Athletic knowing that if they can play their best - as they did in the 4-1 demolition of Clyde at the weekend - that there is no reason why they shouldn’t come out of the game with some sort of result.

That’s certainly the view of Crease who said:

“Two weeks ago we were in the doldrums. The players were criticised, and rightly so, because it was games like that against Montrose which kill us.

“I was critical of the players because I knew they could take it, and I was confident they would respond in the right manner, which is what they have done.

“We have managed to turn things around since then - the win over Peterhead cost their manager his job. We don’t like to see things like that happen, but that’s the way football is.

“On Saturday the players responded magnificently and it was definitely a day for pats on the back.

“We played well at the start and were unlucky to have a Fraser McLaren goal ruled out because he certainly didn’t touch the goalkeeper.

“Damon Gray put us in front, but Clyde started well in the second half and they equalised, which was disappointing from our point of view.

“But then Darren Gribben popped up with two goals in a minute and it was great to see him on the scoresheet again.

“Darren hadn’t hit the mark in the league for us so far this season, and as he was leading goalscorer last season it’s been a frustrating time for him.

“But now he’s off the mark hopefully he has got the taste for it again and the goals will start flowing.

“There were a lot of positives to come out of Saturday’s game.

“In truth everyone played well, but we were solid at the back, Fraser McLaren and Lee Currie put in another good shift in midfield, both our strikers got on the scoresheet and we got another 60 minutes out of Ian Little.

“It’s no secret that we have been looking for a left-sided player to give us a bit more balance, but so far our search has proved fruitless, although I have been looking at a couple of players.

“Ian has come in and done well on the left, but he’s been out for quite a while and needs to build up his match fittness before we give him 90 minutes.

“It was also nice to see Darren Smith get his first official goal for the club.”

Following their indifferent start to the season Rangers know that as they approach the quarter-way mark, when they will have played everyone in the league once, they still have two of their stiffest tests to face.

“We still have Annan and Alloa to meet,” said Crease, “and as they are currently first and second in the table it shows you just how difficult that is going to be for us.

“We are at Alloa next weekend, and they are still the team I think pose the biggest danger to everyone.

“But before that it’s Annan at home and again they will be no pushovers.

“In some ways they play a similar game to Clyde. They prefer the long ball as opposed to getting it down and playing football so that is something we have to be aware of.

“We don’t have too bad a record against Annan, but this season they are playing well and their results speak for themselves.”