NEWTONGRANGE boss Alan Miller wants his players to sign off for the Christmas break with a derby win over Penicuik then make sure they don’t over- indulge during the festive period.
“We’ve been stressing to the players how important it is that they continue to train during the two-week shutdown,” said Miller.
“The teams that are sharper at the start of the second half of the season are the ones that will do well.”
Miller has been disappointed with Star’s season so far. “A return of 12 points from nine games is not good for a club like this,” he said.
But, with just ten points separating top and bottom in the Premier Division, they jumped to third on the back of a 4-0 home win over Glenrothes in their last outing.
“Our aim is to improve in the second half of the season and, hopefully, the win over Glenrothes will have given the players encouragement,” added Miller.
“They have been working really hard in games, but our recent game against Ballingry, which we lost, was typical of what’s been happening to us.
“After they had a man sent off, we dominated the game and had a hat-load of chances – but it was just one of those days.
“We also felt aggrieved by a refereeing decision against Armadale, having been on the wrong end of one of those was it over the line or not decisions.”
Penicuik are still licking their wounds after a 6-0 hammering by Auchinleck in the Scottish Cup.
But they are just three points behind tomorrow’s opponents at New Victoria Park (1:45pm kick-off) and also have two games in hand on their local rivals.
Miller added: “They are a good side and, as always, I am looking forward to a local derby.”