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Danger of relegation became too real for Elgin City, admits chairman Graham Tatters

Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters.
Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters.

Graham Tatters admits he feared Elgin City would be sucked towards relegation trouble in League 2 last season.

The Borough Briggs chairman, reflecting on a campaign with a ninth-placed finish, was concerned when indifferent results saw the Blue Brazil move dangerously close to them at the foot of the fourth tier.

A 2-0 defeat at Central Park in February was a real eye-opener as it was a fifth loss on the spin, but a revival in March helped Elgin keep their heads above water.

They drew with champions Kelty Hearts and runners-up Forfar Athletic, as well as beating Edinburgh City for the first time in four years.

Elgin City manager Gavin Price.

A 2-0 win at Stirling Albion in April was the positive amid a late-term slump, which eased them eight points clear of Cowdenbeath in the end.

Cowdenbeath are preparing for their battle against Lowland League champions Bonnyrigg Rose on Saturday in leg one of the play-off to decide who will be the 10th club in League 2 from July.

March mattered as Elgin improved

However, Tatters revealed it got too close for comfort when his club – which is better known for competing in the promotion play-offs – flirted with bottom spot.

He said: “We managed to get the results towards the end of the season to help us when we needed it.

“I didn’t expect us to get the results we did in March when we beat Kelty Hearts, which was tremendous.

“I was worried we’d be in trouble. When we got beat by Cowdenbeath, that was significant. We really had to think about what we were doing. We had that good spell in March then lost to Cowdenbeath.

“Cowdenbeath are not a bad side at all. I think it will need a good Bonnyrigg Rose side to beat them. I don’t know for definite, but I hope Cowdenbeath get through it.”

Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters.

Costly Covid outbreak hampered City

A trip by some of the squad to Wembley for the Euros last summer had knock-on effects when Covid made an impact.

And Tatters felt the team were always playing catch-up as injuries compounded the problems for the Black and Whites.

He said: “The season started off badly when some of our players went down to the England v Scotland game and we ended up having a Covid outbreak.

“Our first game was against Dundee United and the (Covid) problem built up and worsened. We missed Kane Hester and Brian Cameron for a period then Matthew Cooper was out with Covid and Long Covid and Euan Spark was out.

“It was one thing after another and we never got going. We never seemed to get any luck at all.

“After the Covid outbreak, we were struggling to get players to training. If you’re not fit, you pick up injuries and that seemed to happen all the time. It was terrible.”

Weir could stay on at Elgin City

Former Elgin City manager Jim Weir helped out manager Gavin Price and assistant Steven Mackay for the second half of last season.

Both parties have talked about making that arrangement more permanent and Tatters hopes an agreement can be reached.

He added: “Jim and Gavin have both been really busy lately.

Assistant manager Steven Mackay has been praised by Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters.

“They just need to get together and discuss it. I hope it happens. Jim has got bags of experience and he has helped Gavin a lot. They both get on really well and work well together.

“I have to also say Steven Mackay has been great since he came in. It was a big transition for him to come in from Brora Rangers, who were a really good side who kept on winning games.

“He came to Elgin where it’s tough in League 2 and there are different preparations for games, but he adapted well.”

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