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Elgin City's poor away form: Manager Allan Hale 'not focused on negatives' after Bonnyrigg Rose defeat


By Jonathan Clark

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ELGIN City manager Allan Hale said the club's poor away form is "not something he's focusing on" after a 2-0 defeat at Bonnyrigg Rose on Tuesday.

The Black and Whites are moving up the League Two table thanks to impressive home form since Hale took over, but points on the road have remained hard to come by.

City's last away win was on February 23, 2023, at Dumbarton. In that time, they have drawn once and lost 20 times on their travels.

Bonnyrigg were 2-0 winners at New Dundas Park on Tuesday night thanks to a goal in either half from Connor Doan.

"I don't think we played well enough to merit anything out of the game," Hale admitted. "But the away record is not something I am focused on.

Elgin City manager Allan Hale. ..Elgin City FC (2) vs Clyde FC (1) - SPFL League Two 2023/24 - Borough Briggs, Elgin 30/01/2024...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Elgin City manager Allan Hale. ..Elgin City FC (2) vs Clyde FC (1) - SPFL League Two 2023/24 - Borough Briggs, Elgin 30/01/2024...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"It's obviously an issue and the points total shows that, but it isn't something we talk about. I don't want to focus on negatives. We look at it a game at a time.

"I'm not going to be too critical after one game – everyone is capable of beating each other in this league so we dust ourselves down and focus on the next one."

City are back on the road tomorrow when they travel to the capital to take on Spartans – who are sitting comfortably inside the play-off spots in third.

Spartans were 4-0 winners at Borough Briggs in Hale's first home match in charge of Elgin, but revenge isn't on his mind ahead of the Edinburgh journey.

"We don't focus on the past," he added. "We deservedly lost 4-0 that day because we were really poor, but we have made progress at a team since then.

"We play with more control now, keep possession and defensively we have been fairly strong in the last three or four games.

"Of course we want to show an improved Elgin side when we go down there. Spartans are a good side with experienced footballers and are good on their own patch.

"But if we play well we are capable of getting a result."

Matthew Cooper hobbled off injured in City's 1-0 win over East Fife at Borough Briggs on Saturday, but Hale had a relatively positive update on the defender.

Elgin City's Matthew Cooper...Elgin City FC (2) vs Stranraer FC (1) - Scottish League Two - Borough Briggs, Elgin 06/04/2021...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Elgin City's Matthew Cooper...Elgin City FC (2) vs Stranraer FC (1) - Scottish League Two - Borough Briggs, Elgin 06/04/2021...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"It's thankfully not as bad as first feared," he said. "It's a strained meniscus so he will likely be out for three weeks to a month."

He will be unavailable, then, for the Spartans game – and there are likely to be a couple of other changes to the line-up.

Hale added: "We have played four games in 10 days so there is definitely an element of fatigue.

"We will take stock of what we see at training and pick a team to freshen it up a bit and give us some energy.

"The challenge is there for the players to keep their place now, because nobody is certain to start. It's about making sure training levels are strong enough to merit a place in the team."


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