The final push is on to stay in the play-offs

EVERY game is a cup final in the race to stay in the top four, according to midfielder Jamie Winter, writes Sarah McLean.

Montrose have rarely dropped out of the top four in the second half of the season and with five games left to go the club is determined to stay up there.

Winter said: “To be honest last year we were saying we just needed to get a good run and get some consistency and that’s what we have done this season.

“We’ve managed to keep it up and despite the inevitable odd bad result we have done well.

“I don’t think we have dropped out of the top four since Christmas. And it’s nice to know we have something still to play for.

“As some of the lads have said already every game from now on is a cup game for us.”

Last Saturday saw the Gable Endies take a point in their Links Park clash with Third Division champions Rangers.

While at the start of the season taking two points in two games from the Ibrox side seemed like a pipe dream, Montrose couldn’t help but be disappointed to only take a point on Saturday.

Winter said: “Before the game I think we would probably have been quite happy to take a draw but with the way it panned out we felt like we should have got more out of it.

“It was disappointing to not get the three points, the boys played really well and I think we deserved a win.

“At the start of the season I never would have thought playing against Rangers we would have taken two points from two games but it just shows how far we have come this season that we are disappointed with a draw.”

A Rangers fan himself, Winter is pleased with Montrose’s results against them this season. He said: “The first time playing Rangers this season I was coming back from injury and for me it was about coming back. The three games since have been more serious but it’s been a great experience.

“It hasn’t been a great season for Rangers. We have played them four times this season and we have never been disgraced. Our performances against them, and taking a draw against them in the past two games, is a great credit to the boys.”

Looking back on the 2012/13 season Winter thinks the Elgin game in October when ‘keeper Sandy Wood was sent off 30 minutes in was a turning point for the team.

He said: “I think the Elgin game when we were down to 10 men but still managed to get a 2-2 draw was a turning point for us.

“It was definitely a draw that felt like a win and we all stuck together as a team.

I think that was definitely a turning point for us and really showed people what we are made of.

“On the other hand the recent 6-0 defeat to Peterhead is a game I think all of us want to erase from memory.”

And Winter, one of the first to sign up for next season, is keeping an open mind amidst all the confusion over league reconstruction.

He commented: “No-one knows what is going to happen next season yet with all the talk of reconstruction but the main focus for us is to get into the playoffs.

If we manage to go up into the second division that would be a really great achievement.”