MONTROSE boss Stuart Garden has warned his players that they need to focus after Saturday’s draw against Rangers, writes Sarah McLean.
After holding the league leaders to a draw at Ibrox the Gable Endies are now looking at hosting East Stirlingshire at home on Saturday.
Garden said: “It’s going to be a hard game this weekend and I’ve warned the lads that as much as we are delighted with Saturday’s result we have to keep ourselves going.
“We need to keep ourselves up in the play off spots.
“It’s always difficult after playing Rangers but I think only one team in the league has gone on to win their next game after playing them - so the statistics speak for themselves.”
However, the manager is thrilled with his team’s performance on Saturday afternoon. He said: “Obviously we set out to take something from the game. I told the lads before the match to keep it tight.
“In the first half we did well and we had two or three chances that we could have done better with but their ‘keeper and defence were good.
“With the first goal I knew straight away that it was an own goal and while it was unfortunate it was just one of those things.”
Garden was also full of praise for sub David Gray who scored the leveller, he said: “It was a great strike, but David is like that as a player and he’s not scared to have a go from far out.
“I told him to go on and make an impact and that’s exactly what he did.”
The team also coped better with the bigger pitch and did not tire as quickly as they had done during the match in September. Garden said: “I think it was a definite improvement but we have been working on fitness a lot over the past two or three months - they were excellent.”
Goalscorer David Gray was delighted to score at Ibrox, and take his second goal for Montrose against Rangers. He said: “To put it bluntly it was the best feeling ever.
“Scoring that king of goal is always special but to be part of the team itself is just as special, if not more so, for me.”
He continued: “It was amazing how quiet it seemed to go when you score and then there was this incredible noise coming from the 200 fans in the away corner.
“It was absolutely incredible the noise they were making.”
Gray added: “The dressing room was absolutely buzzing afterwards and the manager was trying to talk and be serious but you could tell even he was struggling.”
Like Garden, Gray says attention must now turn to keeping themselves in the play-offs spots. He said: “I think we deserve to be where we are but the important thing now is that we stay there.
“The most important game for us now is this Saturday and we need to keep it going after the result last weekend.”
Meanwhile, Ross McCord will be available for selection on Saturday but Paul Lunan remains sidelined with injury.