SPFL LEAGUE ONE:
STRANRAER v BRECHIN CITY
(Saturday, April 19: Stair Park, 3pm)
Stevie Farrell has told Stranraer’s players: We trust you to get the club to the promotion play-offs.
The Blues assistant manager insists a run of seven games without a win has not shaken belief in the camp that a top-four finish in League One can be achieved.
Stranraer, who have skipper Frank McKeown available again following suspension, welcome Brechin City this Saturday with their gap to fifth-placed Stenhousemuir now just three points.
But Farrell revealed that both he and boss Stevie Aitken have complete faith in the squad to get the job done now that they have come this far.
He said: “We’ve never been pessimistic. We believe.
“We’re confident that after 36 games we will be in a play-off position.
“The league table doesn’t lie and we’ve shown that we have been the best of the rest, behind Rangers and Dunfermline Athletic, for much of the season. It’s about consolidating that in these final games.
“This is the best group of players I’ve ever came across as a player or since I’ve been involved in management. They are the most together and they’re all mates.
“It’s in the palm of their hands and it will be the biggest regret of their footballing lives if they don’t get to the play-offs as nobody deserves it more than this group.
“We’ve trusted this group of players all season and we trust them to get us over the line. We will get there if we start believing in ourselves again.”
Ray McKinnon’s Brechin arrive at Stair Park with concerns at the other end of the table as they aim to avoid falling into the relegation play-off position.
Farrell knows the challenge Stranraer face is considerable but he says the team will be on their guard after last weekend’s 4-2 defeat at Arbroath.
He added: “It happens every season when teams start fighting for their lives. The penny drops for some players who realise they are in the last-chance saloon.
“Teams at the bottom pull out performances like Arbroath did against us so there will be no surprises from Brechin this Saturday. They will give it everything.”
SPFL LEAGUE ONE:
However, assistant manager Farrell has backed the players to get the job done if they rediscover the form shown over the middle part of the season.
“It was a disappointing day for us from start to finish,” Farrell said. “We went in 1-0 down at the break and then conceded two poor goals within five minutes of the start of the second half.
“We had an early chance through Ryan Borris and if that goes in things might have been different as we felt the first goal would be crucial.
“It’s not about tactics or coaching any more. We’ve done that for nine months and it’s been successful. It’s now just about getting over the line.
“The expectation is there from everybody. We’re not doing the things we did for all those months which made us successful. We need to get back to that and relax.
“Rangers and Dunfermline Athletic have secured their places but of all the teams going for the play-offs, we’re in the best position.
“We will get the necessary results if we play like we know we can in these last three games.”
Rangers v Stranraer
Tickets are available from the Fitba' Bar, North Strand Street, Stranraer.
Friday 4th April from 1pm - 4.30pm