Edinburgh City can’t legislate for mistakes – which is why Jesus Garcia Tena knows they have to eradicate them if they want to return to winning ways when Elgin visit Ainslie Park tomorrow.
The Spaniard watched helplessly last weekend as an uncharacteristic error from Craig Beattie gifted Stenhousemuir the only goal of the game in a 1-0 defeat at Ochilview.
City had started the match extremely brightly as well before being knocked off their stride, and while Garcia Tena is experienced enough to acknowledge that errors will happen, it’s vital that City keep them to a minimum in a league where they are often decisive.
“It happens to the best players,” he said. “It’s a human mistake and obviously Beattie didn’t mean to do it, we just need to deal with it. It was a sore one to take and I don’t think we deserved to lose the game, but that’s football and it happens sometimes. Aside from that, I don’t think they had much more than us.”
Defeat at Ochilview was something of a role reversal from the previous weekend that saw City frustrate the normally free-scoring Peterhead in a goalless draw, without really creating much themselves.
While clean sheets are welcome, Garcia Tena believes City need to start putting together both aspects of the game on a more regular basis.
“It’s pretty important in this league,” he assessed. “If you can keep a clean sheet or prevent the other team from creating much you’ve got every chance of taking points from games. Hopefully this weekend we’re back to good defending, but also taking our chances so we can take some points off Elgin. At this level, and at any level really, the team that makes the least mistakes is probably going to win.”
The previous fixture between the two at Borough Briggs in December should have seen City take all three and in turn secure James McDonaugh’s first win in charge. A stoppage time equaliser ensured the wait continued until just after New Year.
Tena is hoping that if needed, City can carry a little more luck tomorrow. “We’ve been unlucky at times this season in that we’ve been better than what the scoreline suggests,” he explained. “It’s going to be a completely different game though. I would say our home form has been pretty good the last couple of months, but I don’t think we’re playing any differently away from home.
“As I said, it’s just getting that break which is something we’ve had at home when scoring the first goal and have been able to get a second.”
The former Hamilton defender was initially signed under Gary Jardine until January after missing most of the previous season for Accies through injury.
He has since extended his stay until the end of this season in what he admitted was a pretty straightforward decision. “I’m happy with my team-mates, the manager and all the staff so I was happy to sign until the end of the season and see what we can achieve together,” he said.
“There were a couple of opportunities to go somewhere else but it would have involved a lot of travelling and it didn’t really materialise. So as soon as Edinburgh City gave me the chance, I had to take it.
“All I wanted after my injury was to try and play as many games as possible and as many minutes just to show everyone that when you get an injury like that, it’s not the end of your career. I think I’m doing that. Now I’m just trying to get my fitness back up after a shorter spell out but I’m ready to fight until the end of the season and see what we can do with Edinburgh City.”
After that, there’s no concrete plan, although the long term aim is to return to full-time football eventually. “Hopefully that will happen,” said the one-time Juventus player. “Again, it’s just about playing as many games as possible and we’ll see what happens in the summer.
“You can say part-time in League Two is a bit easier but obviously when you’re full-time you’re training every single day as well, so you have more chance. But I think this is the perfect place for me just now at City to achieve my goals.”