ARBROATH player/manager Paul Sheerin accepts it might be early days yet for his new-look side, but things are already shaping up.
Although they won against Forfar Athletic on Tuesday night at Gayfield, there are still aspects of their game that needs work.
He said: “I think young [Michael] Travis and [Alex] Keddie were excellent at the back for us. They were really strong and Darren Hill as well.
“I’m delighted about the back as a unit, but frustrated certainly in the way we used the ball. Our ball retention wasn’t good enough towards the end, but we’re in the hat for the next round.
“We’ve got a bit of work to do, but you let eight go and you lose the quality like [Gavin] Swankie and [Josh] Falkingham, some really good players, and it’s a real blow to you.
“You’ve got to rebuild and it will take time. But I’m saying that it’ll take time and that’s us, four games in and undefeated.
“[Paul] Currie’s been excellent for us, he’s made some really clever runs forward. He got a good goal in the first half and a great finish.
“It’ll take time to gel, but if it’s taking time to gel and we’re still undefeated I can’t complain too much!”
Another issue with his selection has been the signing of Darren Gribben, something fans have been wondering at.
Paul said: “He was brilliant tonight! Darren, well he’s an enigma. I’ve spoken to people who’ve said ‘Darren Gribben, why are you signing him?’ But his goals to games ratio speaks for itself.
“It’s one in two in every level that he’s played at and you can’t fault that. It’s up to me to manage him as best I can and hopefully we can do that.
“If he’s scoring goals that’s not going to be an issue hopefully. There may be times when we have other problems, but you get that with the bulk of players anyway, and it’s just how you manage it.
“His return at the minute has been excellent. He knows where the goal is and he’s shown that already for us.”
The gaffer is keen to progress in the Ramsdens Cup, a competition that he believes is often overlooked.
He said: “I think it’s been a while since the club has had a run in any cups. People may take this cup for granted at times, but from our point of view it’s a great opportunity for a club of our size to get to cup finals.
“We want to try and do that. Granted it won’t be easy, but we’re in the mix and that’s the main thing.”
HeraldSport asked if it was strange to be facing off against players like Keith Gibson and Gavin Swankie, Lichtie stalwarts until a short while ago.
He replied: “No, it’s not really strange. I mean, players move on. Unfortunately, whether I was right or wrong in letting Gibbie go, it was a really tough one for me.
“He was an unbelievable player for the club and not just in what he offered on the park, but what he offered off the park as well.
“So Gibbie was a tough decision for me, but he wasn’t playing as many games as he would like towards the end of last season so I felt he probably had to move on for a fresher challenge and he’s relishing that.
“I’ve not seen him score many goals like that in his time. And ‘Swanks’, you want to keep him at the club. He’s a really good player that I’d love to have at my club still, but it’s not to be and that’s football.”
Fans are reminded there will be segregation in place for the game against Ayr United tomorrow (Saturday). Home fans will occupy the Harbour end of the stadium, while away fans will occupy the Pleasureland end.