Stewart Petrie expects another hard game when Montrose visit rivals Arbroath

New Montrose boss Stewart Petrie.

New Montrose boss Stewart Petrie.

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Stewart Petrie is expecting another tough derby clash with in-form Arbroath this weekend.

Petrie takes his Montrose side to Gayfield for the final Angus derby of the season to face a team who have eroded an 11-point gap at the top of League Two to just one.

And after two tight draws and an unfortunate defeat against their rivals already this campaign, the Gable Endies gaffer isn’t expecting an easy time of things when he locks horns with old mentor Dick Campbell.

Petrie said: “It’ll be a great game. I spoke to Dick yesterday, we speak on a weekly basis and I pick his brains about opposition - obviously he’s not giving me anything on Arbroath though! They’re going really well and it’s a derby game.

“We more than held our own in the previous games, we were unfortunate to lose 3-1 last time. The boys are looking forward to it. We took a lot of fans last time so hopefully we can give them all something to cheer about this time. It’s going to be a difficult task, they’re the form team and they’ve got some really good players so we’re under no illusions.”

Montrose beat Cowdenbeath 2-0 on Saturday and now need just six more points to ensure their place in the league for next season, which remains Petrie’s key target.

He said: “Beating Cowdenbeath wasa massive result for us, you don’t want dragged back into that at all. We’ve still got a lot of work to do but we have a bit of space. We need to pick up more points along the way but we’ve done well.

“It’s not a park you can play good football on, the surface dictated the way we played and we had them watched so we’d done our homework on them. We felt that was the best system to use and fortunately for us it worked.

“You don’t want to get sucked into that group at the bottom and the win comes after two defeats, which I think is the first time we’ve suffered two successive defeats since we went in. So it was an important win and we have a tricky away game at Arbroath this Saturday.

“It was vital because losing that puts Cowdenbeath within single digits of you, which is a psychological thing. It was good to win for that reason but as I say, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, we want to confirm safety as soon as possible. That’s been the goal all along, to stay in this league. We’re still not there. We’re in a not bad position but we still need two more wins, and the quicker we get them the better.”