Craigroyston hoping to be big in Japan

CRAIGROYSTON manager Ross McNeil will be hoping good news reaches him in Japan tomorrow afternoon as assistant manager Garry Aitchison takes the side for their home clash with Selkirk in the Central Taxis First Division.

McNeil is currently out working in the Far East, so has been liaising with his No. 2 by phone in the build-up to the St Marks Park clash with the Borders outfit.

Aitchison said: “Ross is seven hours ahead of us so my early morning calls catch him in mid-afternoon. To be fair, we had discussed most aspects of the team selection and formation before he left.

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“It’s so long ago since we played a competitive game although we have played three friendlies over the festive period. We have managed to train as well and everybody is looking fit.”

Craigroyston have maintained from the start of the campaign that promotion is their main aim although their progress has been hampered by their relative success in cup competitions. They reached the final of the Alex Jack Cup only to be beaten 1-0 by Leith Athletic, and, so far, have played only four league games.

Leaders Coldstream are currently 25 points ahead of Craigroyston, who have eight games in hand. There are several other teams in the title shake-up, however, including Leith Athletic.

“Basically, every remaining league fixture is a ‘must-win’ game,” said Aitchison. “Coldstream have done very well to get the points on the board. We have a lot of experience in our squad and our players won’t need any motivation for tomorrow’s game.

“We need to go on a winning run of league games, starting tomorrow, if we are to maintain an interest in gaining promotion.”

Craigroyston have David McNeil out injured and Paul Lynch on the recovery trail, while David Jeffrey is suspended. Selkirk, who are desperate for points to move out of the bottom half of the league, will be missing the injured trio of Euan Pritchard, Jason Inglis and Barry Milven.