Having played every minute of every match so far this term, it’s fair to say Robbie McIntyre is thriving under James McDonaugh at Edinburgh City.
Plucked from East of Scotland League outfit Tynecastle where he had spent the past three seasons, McIntyre admits that making the move from Scottish football’s sixth tier had to be met with a degree of caution.
However, the 24-year-old left full-back has taken Ladbrokes League Two in his stride, relishing the opportunity to test himself against seasoned pros including Clyde’s David Goodwillie and Peterhead’s Rory McAllister.
And McIntyre and the rest of his team-mates have come out on top having won eight of their opening nine matches to lead the way after the first quarter.
The Citizens are chasing their 11th consecutive victory tomorrow when they visit Stirling Albion who this week appointed Kevin Rutkiewicz as manager. But McIntyre, who scored the only goal of the game to see off city rivals Civil Service Strollers in last weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup second-round tie, is wary of the immediate impact a new manger can often engender.
“It’s a fresh start for their new manager and the players. He might have a different approach to what the last gaffer had in mind so it’s a new lease of life for the Stirling players and they’ll be eager to impress,” McIntyre explained. “We’ve got to take that into consideration as well. We got the result against them last time out but every game is different.
“They were challenging at the top end last year and made the play-offs so it’s been surprising with how they’ve fared so far this season. But maybe with a new manager coming in things will begin to turn for them.
“We’re confident ahead of the match tomorrow, though. When you’re on a run in the league you want to keep that going. Obviously we’ve had back-to-back cup games to deal with but I don’t think that should disrupt things too much. In saying that, we’re looking forward to getting back to league action.”
McIntyre, who had spells with Rangers and Huddersfield as a youngster, laughed off suggestions of being a firm favourite in the City dressing room with 17 starts racked up already this season.
“I just keep my head down,” he quipped. “I’ve not missed a minute since coming in and that has been good for my confidence. It shows the manager has got a lot faith in me. I just need to keep doing what I’ve been doing but it’s been great. I don’t take things for granted.
“I didn’t know what to expect at the start of the season. I had a couple of sessions towards the end of the last campaign with City and the changes to this season’s squad is like night and day. I always had in my mind I wanted to start well but I don’t think I could have expected to have played every minute of every game so far.
“I think I’ve adapted well to the step up. I definitely feel I’ve improved since the start of the season. James is a great manager and is always wanting to try and improve your game. You can’t look too far ahead so my focus is just on where I am just now. I always said when the opportunity to come back into league football came about that my aim was to play at the highest level for as long as I can.
“But the focus is very much on Stirling tomorrow. With Clyde and Peterhead, both decent sides, playing each other this weekend, if we can get another win on the board then there may be a wee chance to open up a bit of a gap at the top.”