Darryl McHardy insists the next couple of weeks could determine which kind of play-offs Elgin City will be contesting this season.
The Black and Whites are second-bottom of the League Two table after last weekend’s 4-1 humbling by hosts Annan Athletic.
They sit four points ahead of Cowdenbeath and the same margin behind Albion Rovers and follow up their clash with Stenny with a trip to Stirling Albion this Tuesday.
Three victories from 15 fixtures is not good enough. Since winning 2-1 at Stenhousemuir on September 25, they have won just one of their last 10 games.
While their display at Galabank last Saturday was a clear off-day, boss Gavin Price has been encouraged by some of their performances.
Stenny and Stirling huge contests
In fact, it has widely been acknowledged that City’s players have looked capable, but simply paid the price for slackness in both boxes.
Long-serving centre half McHardy, 26, knows these two matches followed by a testing home tussle with second-placed Forfar Athletic on January 2, must yield as many points as possible.
With the League Two basement spot meaning a relegation play-off, against a Lowland or Highland League champion, McHardy knows they have to kick clear of danger.
He said: “Training has been really good this week, at a high intensity level. The manager had a chat with us, telling us we need to up our game.
“We really need to start a run, as soon as we can or we will be in trouble.
“If we don’t get points on the board sooner rather than later then it will become more of a relegation play-off battle for us. The next few games over the festive period will define our season, I think.
“If we can start picking up points and wins then we can start really challenging for the promotion play-offs.
“We need to try and catch these teams directly above us. It’s tougher obviously when you play the likes of Kelty Hearts, but games like these against Stenhousemuir, we have to be winning.”
Wins rather than plaudits – McHardy
The Elgin-born defender will be doing all he can to drive the Moray club back into the promotion play-offs, with Edinburgh City stopping them in a tie which went to the wire in May.
Price’s players get plenty of plaudits for the attacking brand they put on show, but McHardy admits right now results are everything.
He added: “Goals win games and it’s alright for us to say we’re playing well. We need to convert our chances. The Annan game apart, we have been playing good football, but we need to start winning.
BUY A 🧱
We still have a limited number of bricks available to buy for our Wall of Fame.
Only £50 Per 🧱
We also have a new signed & framed certificate option for an extra £10.
If you have already purchased a brick not to worry just contact the Office to organise 🤩
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) December 16, 2021
“It doesn’t even matter right now if we’re playing well or not. We’d rather just get the win, a victory by one goal, it doesn’t matter.”
Elgin welcome back captain Euan Spark from suspension, while on-loan Cove Rangers midfielder Ross Draper is fit and available.