Tranent Juniors boss Gary Small revealed he has used inspiration from tennis star Andy Murray to focus his players ahead of a potential promotion-securing match away to rivals Dunbar United.
The Foresters Park outfit know victory tomorrow will ensure they finish at least second in the South Division and it could set up a potential title showdown with Whitburn next weekend, if the West Lothian outfit lose to Blackburn United.
Small has urged his players to make sure all their attention is on tomorrow’s match at New Countess Park against a Dunbar side who still have a chance of promotion to the Premier League themselves.
“To secure promotion at your local rivals is obviously a big incentive – as if the boys needed any other incentives,” he said. “It’s probably going to make it even harder because Dunbar will be well up for it. It’s going to be a challenge for us to overcome.
“I’ve told them their focus better not drift towards Whitburn, we’ve got to beat Dunbar first. If we don’t beat Dunbar and Whitbrun beat Blackburn then it’s going to be very difficult for us to overcome Whitburn.
“I was listening to an Andy Murray interview, he said don’t focus on what you’re going to do, focus on how you’re going to do it, it struck a chord with me and I have said that to the players. If we focus on winning our next game our end goal will look after itself. If you focus on what we need to do a bit of trepidation could creep into the squad.”
Whitburn, who have won their last 12 South Division matches on the trot, could yet sneak ahead of Tranent in the race for the title. The East Lothian men lead by ten points, but their nearest challengers have four games in hand.
It means Tranent could still mathematically be beaten to the league crown even if they win their next two matches, with a fixture away to Rosyth still to come.
Victory tomorrow and Small will have met his remit in his first full season in management having joined the club at the end of last season after spending two seasons as assistant to Johnny Harvey at both Edinburgh United and Haddington Athletic, where he picked up two title-winning medals.
Small added: “If we do achieve promotion that’s me achieved my goals at the club set down for me when I took the job. The goal for us was to get promoted so it would be nice to achieve that. To be completely honest, I won’t have achieved my own personal goals until we win the league – I want to win it in my own right as a manager.”