James McDonaugh has challenged Edinburgh City to build on their best display of the season when they travel to Brechin City on Saturday.
The Ainslie Park side thrashed Stenhousemuir 4-0 on Tuesday to climb back above Cowdenbeath and into second spot in League Two.
“It was possibly our best performance of the season on Tuesday,” said City boss McDonaugh. “We made a couple of changes to a winning team which was a hard decision as a manager but it turned out to be the right one and we looked really strong. I thought Stenhousemuir might have been a bit of a wounded animal after losing to Penicuik but we started brilliantly and got 2-0 up early doors before they went down to ten men. The players have set a standard so now they’ve got try and maintain it. If we can get close to that level, we’ll be doing well.”
Tuesday’s victory saw City get their promotion push back on track after they lost their previous league game away to Cowdenbeath way back on the first weekend of October. “We had 24 days between the two league games, with only the Scottish Cup game against Banks O’Dee in between so it was actually a good opportunity to coach the players,” explained McDonaugh. “Sometimes you just train or give them time off but we used that opportunity to work on a few things and I think it paid dividends on Tuesday.
“We’ve now responded strongly to both defeats we’ve had in the league this season, which is really good. The first ten games after I took charge were the most difficult but in the 90 or so since then, it’s not often we’ve lost two in a row. We’re quite good at stopping a bad run coming and starting a new one.”
The top three teams are ten points clear of the rest in League Two. Title rivals Cowdenbeath and Cove Rangers meet at Central Park on Saturday, giving City some extra incentive for their trip to Glebe Park. “It’s an opportunity for us to gain ground this weekend, with Cove and Cowdenbeath playing each other,” said McDonaugh. “I still feel the teams below us are all going to have an input into what happens. Last season a lot of teams took a while to get going but once we got to Christmas, everybody could beat everybody. We had a good return of 19 points from 27 in the first quarter and now we’ve taken three points from our first game of the second quarter so we can go to Brechin in good spirits for what will be a hard game.”
Striker Blair Henderson is now back in contention after injury.