Spartans ace out to reel in leaders City

Aim is high: Errol Douglas feels Spartans can win the title
Aim is high: Errol Douglas feels Spartans can win the title
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Spartans striker Errol Douglas is adamant his second-place side can afford no more slip-ups if they want to catch Lowland League leaders Edinburgh City.

The Ainslie Park club have spent the past week basking in the glory of their shock Scottish Cup win at home to Morton last weekend.

But it’s back to league business tomorrow as the defending champions, who are now ten points adrift of their Capital rivals, host Preston Athletic.

Spartans were held to a 1-1 draw at East Kilbride in their last league outing a fortnight ago and Douglas admits they have left themselves with no margin for error.

“We need to make sure we’re right on City’s tail,” he said. “They’re ten points ahead of us which will be hopefully down to seven this weekend. We just want to make that gap smaller and smaller, stage by stage. It might take until the end of the season, but we’re going to keep plugging away to get results.

“We need to win every game from now on in and that’s what we’re aiming to do. We can’t afford to drop any more points.”

Dougie Samuel’s men were back training 48 hours after last Saturday’s dramatic win over Morton, and while Douglas admitted there was a buzz about the place following that result, he insists there is now complete focus on tomorrow’s game. “Everyone just wants to keep going. A lot of the players wanted the next Scottish Cup round to be this Saturday! We’re just so buzzing and ready for it, but it’s back to league action and we’re aware that going up is our number one priority.

“It’s all well and good playing against the likes of Morton and Clyde in the cup but we want to play teams like that week in, week out and that’s what we’re aiming to do next season.”

Douglas came off the bench to good effect against Morton and the former Stenhousemuir forward hopes the pace and direct running which helped keep his side on the front foot will strengthen his claim for a start tomorrow.

“I’ve played a part in almost every game this season, whether it be in the starting eleven or off the bench,” he explained. “Whatever the manager has planned for the weekend, I’m sure I’ll be involved. There’s great competition between me, Cloudy [Keith McLeod] and Willie [Bremner]. We can play a lot of systems – either one that fits us all in or sometimes it might just be one or two of us.”

Preston make the short trip to Ainslie Park as the Lowland League’s bottom club. The two have yet to play each other this season, but Douglas isn’t getting complacent despite their contrasting league positions.

“We can’t take Preston for granted at all. We can look at their results at the start of the season but they’ve had a change of manager and new players coming in so it’ll definitely be a hard game.”