International break gives Edinburgh City chance to take stock

The break will allow Craig Beattie to regain fitness.

The break will allow Craig Beattie to regain fitness.

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Gary Jardine believes this weekend’s international break is coming at a good time for his beleaguered Edinburgh City squad.

Domestic action takes a back seat as Scotland face Malta in their opening 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Sunday. City have yet to win a point in League Two this season, and Jardine will take the opportunity to take stock after a month as an SPFL club.

“The break’s come at a good time,” he admitted. “We can now reflect on our first month in League Two. While we’ve not got any points, were not going to be down about it. There’s loads of positives we can take and learn from the first two weeks when we were off the opposition, and the last two weeks when I felt we’ve been the better side. We were much closer, we’ll take it on board and I’m sure the players will improve going in to September.”

The enforced free week will also allow experienced striker Craig Beattie to return to fitness, having missed the previous two games against Cowdenbeath and Berwick with a calf injury. “It was one of these where Craig was flying in training on Thursday and got a wee knock,” Jardine explained. “It’s disappointing as he’s obviously going to be a big player for us. He’s already been a big influence in the changing room by talking to players and them learning from him. As the season progresses I’m sure that he’ll make his mark for us.”

With SPFL status also comes transfer window restrictions. Jardine has until Wednesday night to strengthen his squad, although he was coy on the subject. “I don’t know,” he replied when asked if anyone was likely to be arriving. “There wasn’t with 20 minutes to go on Saturday but there might be now! We’ll have to wait and see.”