Penicuik urged to prove they belong at top end of Super League

Johnny Harvey says his players have been 'first class'
Johnny Harvey says his players have been 'first class'
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Penicuik Athletic boss Johnny Harvey could never have imagined his side would be challenging for a top-four place in the Super league, but he’s urged his players to prove they deserve to be up there when they take on Bo’ness United tomorrow.

Harvey would’ve been content with a spot in the top half this season after taking the reins at his former club in July. With little time to fine-tune his plans for the new season and stamp his authority on the squad, Harvey never expected his team to fare as well as they have. However, they currently sit third and are on course for their best-ever finish in the top flight.

“We’re well ahead of expectations. No way did I think we’d do as well as we have done,” said the 34-year-old. “When I first came in, probably finishing anything in the top half of the table would’ve been a bonus or anything above ninth, where Penicuik finished last year, would’ve been progress.

“Sitting third at the moment, we’ve got to start looking at the top five – that must be well within our grasp.

“The boys have been excellent since I’ve come in and they deserve to be in the position they are. They’ve played really well and work their socks off every week. We need to continue to raise the bar and keep demanding more from the players. I can’t praise them highly enough. I had a tough time when I came in and I had a few doubts, but every one of them has been first class.”

Penicuik host fourth-place Bo’ness tomorrow, the club where Harvey finished his 
career as a striker in 2013.

He added: “I had a good relationship with the Bo’ness supporters, players and committee, but I hope to get one over them tomorrow. The next challenge is to go and beat one of the top four clubs – Bonnyrigg, Kelty, Bo’ness or Linlithgow – and show them we are a team to be reckoned with at the top end of the league.”