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Elgin City ideally placed to address dire away form at Bonnyrigg Rose – Ross Draper

Experienced defender Draper says sky-high confidence can help City land a first away win of the season.

Elgin City defender Ross Draper.
Defender Ross Draper is confident ahead of Elgin City's Tuesday trip to Bonnyrigg Rose. Image: SNS

Ross Draper is confident in-form Elgin City can take their storming home form on the road and to get a positive result at Bonnyrigg Rose on Tuesday.

The experienced midfielder-turned-defender, 35, has been a big figure for City as four wins from their last six games have hauled them clear of troubled Clyde at the foot of League Two.

Last Tuesday’s crunch 2-1 comeback win over Ian McCall’s basement club was followed by Saturday’s 1-0 victory over East Fife.

It takes eighth-placed Elgin nine points clear of Clyde and a win at Bonnyrigg would shoot them above three teams – including their hosts – into fifth position.

Elgin’s home form is only bettered in League Two by leaders Stenhousemuir.

However, having taken just one point on 10 away games, they are the worst team on their travels.

Confidence high for Bonnyrigg trip

Draper sees no reason why their strong results in Moray cannot be replicated at New Dundas Park on Tuesday.

He said: “Bonnyrigg is always a tough place to go. There is the slope in the pitch and the bad weather could be a factor on Tuesday.

“But I don’t expect us to change too much from what we’ve been doing lately. I am confident that if we perform right, we can get a positive result.

“When we’re on form, we want other teams to look at us and ask: ‘how can we change to beat Elgin?’

That’s the mentality we’ve got at the minute on the back of good results and the positive attitude from the gaffer (Allan Hale) and (assistant) Stefan (Laird) coming in.”

One away point ‘incredible’ – Draper

Draper insists Elgin cannot afford to let their shocking results on their travels hold them back.

He said: “There is no hiding the fact we’ve been very good at home and not so good away.

“We’re on 24 points and 23 points have come from home games, which is an incredible stat in itself.

“It’s pleasing that we’ve got such strong home form and it’s tough for teams to come to Borough Briggs and get a result – in the past, it has been the opposite.

“On the other side of the coin, we have to improve our away form. We have to pick up wins and points away from home to take us to where we want to be.

“Hopefully, with our confidence high, a good result is pending on Tuesday.”

He added: “The ball is in our court to get results and keep climbing the table.

“When we beat Clyde 2-1 last week, I thought they were under-par, although that was maybe credit to us more than anything.

“However, we know Clyde will pick up wins between now and the end of the season, so we must make sure we’re at it.

“We have to make sure we at least maintain that gap over Clyde, but hopefully close in on the teams above us.”

Battle on to retain places in City side

Manager Hale and assistant Laird took over from Barry Smith in December and have bolstered their options with a winter transfer window shake-up.

Draper, who had a spell in charge of the club last summer, feels City are going into the closing months of a tough term in a much stronger place.

He said: “The new players have come in and done well.

“Even boys who have not been involved as much this season have come in, trained well, and when they get their opportunity, I am sure they will take it.

“Competition for places has improved, as has the quality within the squad. That can only be a positive for the club going forward.

“The gaffer has already said no one is guaranteed to play, so it’s down to all of us to keep hold of the shirts. There are positive signs and the boys are high in confidence at the minute.”

Elgin crashed to a 5-1 loss at Bonnyrigg last September, but were 2-0 victors when the teams met in Moray two months later.