Montrose boss Stewart Petrie admits it’s time to talk about promotion play-offs

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Stewart Petrie admitted that Montrose have to start talking about the League Two promotion play-offs.

The Gable Endies are now just a point off of the top four after a 1-0 win over leaders Forfar Athletic on Saturday.

And after securing his primary goal of league safety the week before, Petrie believes his side have to start thinking about their chances.

He said: “We’re a point behind the play-offs now, we can’t hide that now. We’re still trying to gather as many points as we can and now we’re just a point behind the top four.

“There’s still three games to go and we’re definitely in with a shout now on the back of that performance.”

Montrose went in front early doors through Chris Templeman and should’ve gone into the break further ahead, but the Loons were dominant after the break despite their inability to really create a lot of a good chances.

The hosts’ defence - reshuffled before the goal due to a nasty injury to Michael Bolochoweckyj - held firm though and Petrie said they had to get a bit of luck to help them through the game.

Stewart said: “We withstood a lot of pressure in the second half. We defended a lot of corners and long throw-ins, we expected that. They’re a strong team and we knew they’d come at us with the wind.

“We rode our luck a wee bit but you’re not top of the league for 33 weeks for nothing. We’re delighted with the performance, especially first half because we’ve got the ball down and created a lot of chances.

“It’s maybe similar to last week’s game when we were quite happy to only go in 1-0 down, I suppose Gary might have been saying well we’re lucky only to be a goal down here.”

Petrie had special praise for his forwards Templeman and Matty Smith, as well as defenders Andy Steeves and Cammy Ballantyne.

He added: “Matty’s got great pace, he’s electric and he’s been close to a couple. If the first one goes in you gain confidence from it but he’s kept plugging away. He doesn’t give up and then big Chris was excellent again too. He’s doing great for us.

“Andy did well at centre half, Cammy was excellent against Danny Denholm who’s a very dangerous player.”

Bolochoweckyj’s injury looked serious when he went down and Petrie revealed the club fear a ligament rupture.

He said: “We believe it could be some kind of rupture for Michael which would be a massive blow for us, he’s probably our best defender and our most experienced defender.”

The Gable Endies continue their play-off push this weekend away to Berwick Rangers, whose recent slump has left them ninth in the table perilously close to the bottom.