The fat lady hasn’t sung yet!

Arbroath player/manager Paul Sheerin cannot hide his delight after opening the scoring against Forfar on Saturday.  Pic: Graham Black.
Arbroath player/manager Paul Sheerin cannot hide his delight after opening the scoring against Forfar on Saturday. Pic: Graham Black.

Arbroath manager Paul Sheerin has his sights firmly set on taking the relegation issue to the final game.

Victories over Stranraer and Forfar Athletic, coupled with two defeats for East Fife, have given Lichties real hope of avoiding the drop automatically.

And the gaffer says it is all down to the players who have redoubled their efforts recently.

“Three weeks ago everyone would have had us, maybe rightly, written off, but we are now in a position where we have hope of making the play-off place. That is down to the players and the way they have gone about their business,” he told HeraldSport.

“It’s another tough one on Saturday, but I really hope we can now take it to the last day and really ask the question of East Fife.”

Looking at the rivals for the play-off sport, the boss added; “They probably went on a run and were looking at Brechin and Airdrie and avoiding the play-offs, but that hasn’t materialised and now they will be looking over their shoulder.

“We have the momentum, but as I said we must go about our business in the correct manner. The players have done everything asked of them and we just need to push on and get that ninth place.

“If we do that, then we will worry about the play-off games after that.”

The Maroons welcome back Kevin Nicoll after suspension for the visit of Dunfermline, while there are no injury worries.

Mr Sheerin stressed that at this stage of the season, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how teams will line up or what the personnel will be.

“Dunfermline played a couple of young boys last week, obviously with a view on how they are progressing, while Brechin will probably rest a few players who have niggles, which is their right,” he commented.

“Teams do tinker at this stage of the season, but we will just concern ourselves with our performance.”

Reflecting on a fine derby win, the boss admitted “grumbling”, but for no good reason.

“We probably could have scored a few more, but I’m probably being pernickety. We were decent in the first half, they had a wee bit of a go in the second, but I believed we were good value for the win.”

Youth success

Arbroath Under-19s are looking for a big crowd for a crucial game in their SPFL Cup campaign at home on Monday night.

The young Lichties face off against Cowdenbeath FC Under 19s at Gayfield in a game which will decide which west coast team they will play in the semi-finals of the cup.

In the west coast sectional it’s a three-way battle between Celtic, Airdrieonians and Ayr United for the two qualifying places. The winner from each sectional will play the runner-up from the other group in the semi-finals on May 4, with the final on May 11.

Arbroath have already qualified to progress to the next round, but a win on Monday will give them a valuable home advantage in the semi-final.

According to Neil Thomson, one of the Arbroath FC youth co-ordinators, the Under-19s have had a good run and a number of the players have been involved in first team football this season.

He said: “The squad has won all of their nine games in the cup so far and are actually undefeated in 18 games since they first played in October. They’re doing really well, touch wood.”

Entry on Monday is £2 for adults and £1 for children.