Coughlin admits Rangers will have to win over fans

Berwick Rangers manager John Coughlin was delighted with his team's performance against Annan Athletic as his side picked up their first league win of the season on Saturday.

Tuesday, 16th August 2016, 9:54 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 3:20 pm
Berwick Rangers players and officials line-up for the 2016-17 season. Picture by Alan Bell

Goals from Steven Thomson and Michael McKenna secured a win made all the harder when skipper Jonny Fairbairn was shown a red card on 55 minutes.

“It wasn’t pretty,” he said, “and after going down to ten men for most of the second half, we had to put in a lot more effort.

“The only disappointing thing was that there weren’t more people here to see it.

“We were playing our first league game of the season and the crowd wasn’t big, so it is obvious we are going to have to win the fans over with results.

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“Four points from our opening two games represents a great return for the players.

“It puts us near the top of the table, and when I open the papers on Sunday and see the league table, I will be happy.”

He said that if he had one complaint it was that Berwick did not build on their early lead before half-time.

“We had a lot more of the ball than Annan and I thought we created a lot more chances, which on another day could have been costly,” he said.

“The sending off early in the second half could also have had an effect on us, as I was expecting more from Annan and I think their manager [Jim Chapman[ will be disappointed at the way they played.

“But I have got to give credit to Michael McKenna for the way he took his second goal.

I keep telling him his game needs more goals. He missed the first game at Arbroath because he was suspended, but he showed a lot of determination for his goal, and in general he was busy throughout the match and played a few neat balls through for Jordyn (Sheerin).

“Overall I am happy with the way we have started in the league and to be honest I was just as pleased with the clean sheet as I was with the result.”

On Saturday Berwick will hope to maintain their unbeaten start to their league campaign when they take on Forfar Athletic at Shielfield

But this will be another tough encounter as the Angus side are currently one of only two teams in the division with a 100 per cent record, the other being Elgin City.

“Jonny Fairbairn will obviously miss the game as he will be suspended,” said Coughlin, “but Robert Wilson, who has been complaining because he hasn’t been in the side lately, will come in and he plays in a very similar role.”