PRETTY football is getting Elgin City nowhere, and the team needs to adapt to a more direct style to succeed in League 2.
So says manager Barry Wilson, who feels City’s ‘nice’ style of play has contributed to their alarming defensive record this season.
A crushing 5-2 defeat at Albion Rovers last Saturday took the Moray club’s ‘goals against’ column for the campaign to 78 in all competitions, far too high a number for the new boss to comprehend.
Wilson has already targeted bringing in a minimum of six new Elgin City players for next season, with emphasis on bolstering their leaky rearguard.
But he feels his current team needs to mix-up their style and play more direct football when needed, using leading sides like Peterhead and Annan as an example of what the long ball can achieve.
“I think players have got to adapt. I’ve been asking them to be a little bit more direct at times,” said Wilson
“So far the teams I’ve seen in this league don’t really do that too much. They do tend to get the ball forward pretty quick.
Elgin have lost six of the nine matches since Wilson succeeded Ross Jack as manager, winning just one. The new boss admitted it has been a “baptism of fire” for him, but pointed to a lengthy injury list as a factor in the team’s poor run of results.
The manager said he has already had some positive feedback from some of his transfer targets, and was keen to strike deals once the current season is over.
He has taken the time to assess some of his younger players This weekend Elgin visit Montrose, with Mark Nicolson set to deputise at centre back in place of the suspended Jamie Duff. Nicolson had been out injured recently but returned to make his first-ever substitute appearance in his seven-year City career, spanning 235 games.
Dons’ loan youngster Masson is also in line for a comeback after six weeks out.
Shane Sutherland and Craig Gunn both played at Albion despite carrying injuries, and are set to play again at Links Park.
Gunn limped off at Cliftonhill but should have shaken off the effects of a dead leg, and although Sutherland didn’t train this week it was more a precaution so as not to aggravate a recent knee knock.
Read the full interview in 'The Northern Scot' print version.