ARBROATH manager Paul Sheerin says the players must put the disappointment of Wednesday’s cup defeat by Celtic to one side now and focus on tomorrow’s (Saturday) big league fixture.
Even though the Lichties were massive underdogs going into the cup replay against the SPL champions, the boss praised their outstanding performance, which saw a Steven Doris goal controversially disallowed.
But with the cup dream over for another year, Mr Sheerin is demanding the Lichties’ league form improves, starting tomorrow when they make the short trip to Forfar for the first of a derby double header.
The boss told HeraldSport: “What we have to do now is make sure we recover and are ready for the derby.
“Sometimes it is difficult after cup defeats like on Wednesday to react in your next game but maybe it is a good thing it’s a derby as they get people fired up and it tends to take care of itself with the fans always up for the occasion too.
“The derbies are important as they will probably have a bearing on what happens at the end of the season.
“You always hear the London clubs say how hard it is to win leagues down there because they have so many derbies in a season.
“That’s why we need to get a result tomorrow.”
The clash against Forfar will see the Lichties come up against some ex-team mates, and the boss knows exactly what threat they will pose.
He added: “I spoke to Gibby [Keith Gibson] who has been struggling with injury lately but we all know what Swanks [Gavin Swankie] can do.
“We’ve really got to be aiming for more consistency and we know we can do it because we proved it over 180 minutes against Celtic.
“They have the artificial surface there now so it will be an advantage to them as they train on it but a lot of clubs have them now so you definitely get used to them.
“We train on astro turf ourselves anyway so it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Despite the fact there will be no cup success this season, Mr Sheerin still has his sights firmly set on at least the play-off places in Division Two come May.
And with Alloa finally breaking league leaders’ Queen of the South’s unbeaten record, the boss says it’s important to keep consistency.
He explained: “I suppose the result on Tuesday is more beneficial to Alloa than anyone else.
“But it just shows how we have to keep pushing and stay near the top.
“We have to make sure we are within touching distance.”
l Visit our website www.arbroathherald.co.uk to watch Paul Sheerin’s post match interview after Wednesday night’s cup clash against Celtic and to see a slideshow of pictures from the game.