Gary Naysmith reveals soft spot for Bonnyrigg Rose, Robbie Horn link and his League Two assessment

Former Hearts and Scotland defender Gary Naysmith has a soft spot for Bonnyrigg Rose and is backing them to get out of trouble at the foot of League Two.
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The Stenhousemuir boss insists there is little to choose between the eight teams outside the top two and believes Bonnyrigg deserve a change of luck after coming out on the wrong side of too many evenly-matched games. His team benefitted on Saturday, edging a 1-0 win at New Dundas Park thanks to a freak goal.

Naysmith hails from Loanhead and went to school in Bonnyrigg at Lasswade High. The former Hearts, Everton and Sheffield United full-back, 44, also came through the ranks at Tynecastle with Robbie Horn and has kept in touch with the Bonnyrigg manager ever since.

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“Robbie was a year older than me on the ground staff,” he recalled. “We keep in touch. When I was out of football we kept in touch and we still keep in touch now and bounce things off each other, ask opinions about different players and stuff like that. I try to help him. But on Saturday he wanted to win and I wanted to win.

Stenhousemuir manager Gary Naysmith is targetting the play-offs but hopes Bonnyrigg Rose can escape relegationStenhousemuir manager Gary Naysmith is targetting the play-offs but hopes Bonnyrigg Rose can escape relegation
Stenhousemuir manager Gary Naysmith is targetting the play-offs but hopes Bonnyrigg Rose can escape relegation

“I want to see Bonnyrigg do well, obviously not at our expense. Being from Loanhead, I’ve seen how hard they have worked to get into the league, how much work they have done to the ground and the crowd… they are the best supported team in the league by far this season. So I would like them to do well.

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“Bonnyrigg are at the bottom of the league and fighting for their lives, so the players were well warned when we played on Saturday. Bonnyrigg will think themselves very unfortunate not to take a point from that game. We got a massive slice of luck with the goal.

“It has been a recurring theme for Bonnyrigg. They played away to Dumbarton and should have got something. I was at the Stirling game and they should have got something and they will think they should have got something from us too. That will be frustrating for them. But I’m sure if they keep it going and put in the same effort, things will start turning.”

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Stenhousemuir’s 1-0 defeat away to leaders Dumbarton on Tuesday was their first since the former Edinburgh City manager took charge in January. Four wins and three draws before that had propelled his team into the play-off positions and that is where Naysmith wants to stay.

“The lads have been excellent,” he adds. “It’s been a really good return of points. I just think they really need to believe in themselves a bit more. We have a good squad and we feel we have added strength since coming in, bringing in five and letting three go. We have a lot more cover in different positions and good competition.

“The players need to realise that they are as good as any squad in the league on their day. But in this league if you don't do the ugly side of the game you get beat. There isn’t a lot of difference between the teams, third to bottom. We went to Bonnyrigg and won, but it was as hard as any game we have had.

“When I took over I thought Dumbarton and Stirling were too far away from everybody else and that there were eight teams trying to get into the play-offs and eight teams who could get relegated. My opinion hasn’t changed.”