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Tough start for Forres Mechanics management team but assistant boss Brian MacLeod is eager to beat former club Clachnacuddin in Saturday's GPH Builders Merchants Highland League Cup quarter-finals

By Craig Christie

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NEW Forres Mechanics assistant manager Brian MacLeod is plotting the downfall of former club Clach in Saturday’s Highland League Cup quarter finals.

Pictured during his Clach management days, Forres assistant Brian MacLeod hopes to bring his old club down this weekend.Picture: Gary Anthony.
Pictured during his Clach management days, Forres assistant Brian MacLeod hopes to bring his old club down this weekend.Picture: Gary Anthony.

MacLeod spent around 10 years of his Highland League career at the Inverness club as player, coach, assistant and boss.

He helped nurture the talents of some of Clach’s current young crop of players, including 16-goal striker James Anderson who he handed a senior debut to.

This weekend, MacLeod, fellow assistant Steven MacDonald and manager Gordon Connelly are aiming to pick up their first win at the Mechanics helm.

Reaching a cup semi would be a perfect starting point for the new management team after back-to-back 7-0 home league defeats to Rothes and Fraserburgh, and a slightly more encouraging 2-0 loss at Wick Academy on Saturday.

“On Saturday we created three, four really good chances. We never took them, on another day you score a couple but that’s the way things are going for Forres at the moment.”

MacLeod will bring some inside knowledge on the talents of the Clach squad into Saturday’s big Mosset Park clash.

“All-in-all, I think I spent about 10 years there. I was a player, coach, assistant manager and manager so I’ve done it all there and I know the club well.

“It’s been a difficult time for them over the last while but it’s a great club and I know a lot of people there so it should make for an interesting game on Saturday.

“When I took over it was at the rebuild stage and we decided to introduce a lot of the younger players. We gave James Anderson his debut taking him up from the under-20s.

James was one who showed up well in the 20s and we were giving him game time off the bench. He has developed a lot physically in the last couple of years and now he is scoring goals in the Highland League.

“It is great to see when you give these guys their chance and it pays off. You are never quite sure how it is going to go, there’s no guarantees but it’s down to the hard work of these players that they have done well.”

Forres handed a debut to Buckie Thistle loan goalkeeper Lee Herbert at Wick on Saturday, and were handed immediate reward when he saved a first half penalty.

However, two Ryan Campbell goals in a ten-minute spell just after half time eased the Harmsworth Park side to victory.

Herbert is cup-tied for Saturday’s quarter-final and regular keeper Stuart Knight is still injured, so the management team will use their collective spread of contacts to try and find an experienced goalie who can fill in at short notice.

MacLeod said he was pleased to take up the opportunity to join Forres, having been helping out with Nairn County’s under-20s team.

“Gogs (Gordon Connelly) gave me the call when it looked like he was going to take over at Forres, I had a good conversation with him about his plans and it seemed like a good opportunity at a good time for me.

“I have known him through the years but never worked with him before.”

It has been a baptism of fire for Connelly and MacLeod said: ““There were mitigating circumstances with the injuries but we aren’t making excuses.

“At the end of the day we take responsibility, it is our team now.

“We are trying to juggle things with training and trying to take some players in.”

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