Conrad Balatoni says Edinburgh City must keep believing

Veteran reckons it’s all to play for in second half of season

Friday, 10th January 2020, 6:00 am
Conrad Balatoni has never shirked his commitments

After 19 games of last season, Edinburgh City had 44 points and sat three points clear of Peterhead at the top of League Two.

After 19 games of the current campaign, they also boast 44 points, with an identical record of 14 wins, two draws and three defeats.

The only notable difference this time round is that City – who are aiming to make it six wins in a row at home to Queen’s Park this weekend – are two points behind long-time league leaders Cove Rangers.

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Last term, City ended up falling away in the closing months as Peterhead took over at the top and won the title. Conrad Balatoni is confident his side have the staying power this time round to do to Cove what Peterhead did to them last term by coming from behind to land the glory.

“It’s testament to how well Cove are doing that we’re on the same points as we had at this stage last season and we’re still not top,” said defender Balatoni. “Any other season apart from this year or last year, we’d probably have been well clear at the top but we’ve been unfortunate that the two good years we’ve had so far, other teams have also stepped up to the mark. We’ve just got to look after ourselves and wait for any opportunity when they slip up.

“There were times last year when we were top and we blew opportunities to pull away and we ended up regretting it. I feel like we’ve learned from our mistakes last season.

“Last year we were top for the majority of the season so the pressure was on us to try and stay there. This year it’s a different type of pressure because we’re the chasing team. We’ve just got to try and win as many games as we can and see where it takes us at the end of the season. If we end up top, then brilliant, but if we end up second, it will be a case of credit to Cove.

“We’re obviously doing well at the moment. We’ve had a good run of results and we’ve managed to keep on the heels of Cove which was our aim at the start of December. Now we’ve got to kick on and try and pick up maximum points in January as well.”

Queens Park were the last team to defeat City at the end of November and they will arrive in the Capital tomorrow under the charge of new manager Ray McKinnon who got off to a winning start against Stenhousemuir last weekend. “They beat us at Hampden when we weren’t at our best so we want revenge,” said Balatoni. “There’s pressure on us to win because we’re at home but we’ve got a really good home record. We want to keep winning, but they’ll probably have a wee buzz with their new manager coming in so we’ll need to be wary of that. We’re quietly confident.”