Thomas McHale insists Elgin City won’t panic as they bid to open up a five-point gap at the foot of League Two by beating Forfar Athletic on Tuesday.
The Black and Whites goalkeeper is confident the Moray side can stretch their unbeaten home run to six matches by defeating their Angus visitors, who are just three points in front of them – albeit with a superior goal difference.
Ninth-placed Elgin, who are on the hunt for a new boss following Barry Smith stepping down last week, will again by led by interim player/manager Ross Draper.
Ten days ago, in Smith’s final fixture, Elgin climbed off bottom spot – putting Clyde there – thanks to a fine 2-0 home win against Bonnyrigg Rose.
At the weekend, they lost 1-0 at third-placed title-chasers Dumbarton, with a Tony Wallace penalty making the difference.
McHale says knuckling down against Forfar in this game in hand to limit their opponents’ chances would set up a golden chance to secure the win which would haul them further up the table after 12 games.
He said: “Our last home performance was impressive and we want to follow that up. It would put us in good stead.
“We want to make Borough Briggs a fortress – a tough place for teams to come to.
“We know the size of the task ahead of us on Tuesday, but we have to do all we can do. Three points is the goal.
“To achieve that, we have to graft as hard as we possibly can. That’s how we got our result the previous week – we were hard to break down and we took our chances when they came along.
“I’m sure we can get three points if we perform as we have in the past few weeks.
“Forfar come here on the back of a really good 2-0 win (at Bonnyrigg Rose) on Saturday. It should be a good game, as it usually is against Forfar.
“We’ve had a number of close games against them over the last few seasons. Given where we are in the league, both teams will be determined to get three points.
“We’re going to have to want it more than them. We want to put in another strong performance and show we can climb this league.”
‘We understand the position we’re in’
McHale, 28, who is set for his 16th overall appearance this term, is confident a win against Forfar will soon have Elgin looking at sides above them, rather than below.
He said: “It has been proven over recent years that anyone can beat anyone in this league.
“There are results every season that always come as a surprise. It’s a tough league. There are teams getting a lot more points on the board than us right now, but that can change.
“It’s still very early. We understand the position we’re in. We know we have to start getting points on the board, but we don’t need to panic.
“It has been a tough run (of results). We’ve had some poor results and some poor performances, but we can positives from some of our results and performances in the past few weeks and build on that.
“We will work towards our goal of putting as many points on the board as possible and see where that takes us.”
We just have to rebuild again after Dumbarton loss – McHale
McHale was gutted to have come away from Dumbarton with a narrow defeat, but says there were reasons to remain optimistic from the game.
Dumbarton 1-0 Elgin (FT)
Elgin fall to defeat after a penalty somehow managed to squirm under McHale
Tuesday night were Home to Forfar pic.twitter.com/l2ahinuh2o
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) November 18, 2023
He added: “It was disappointing to lose to a penalty, but we gave another good account of ourselves.
“Following last week’s result, it was a shame to come away with nothing after the performance we put in.
“We have just to to rebuild again. We have been in tougher positions this season, so it’s just about bouncing back on Tuesday.”
After hosting the Loons, Elgin have no game until Saturday, December 2, when they face a basement battle against Clyde, who last week appointed ex-Partick Thistle boss Ian McCall as their new manager.
The Bully Wee fell to a 4-0 home defeat against East Fife on Saturday in McCall’s first fixture in charge.