Bonnyrigg Rose manager Max Christie admits there is pressure on himself and his players to get a result against Super League champions Bo’ness United tomorrow.
After losing their opening two league matches Rose couldn’t have handpicked a more difficult encounter from which to get their first win of the season, with the BUs visiting New Dundas Park in bullish mood after recording their first three points of the campaign last weekend with a 7-0 rout of Sauchie.
Two opening defeats by Musselburgh Athletic and Kelty Hearts have got Rose off to a ‘terrible’ start according to Christie and he is under no illusions to the importance of tomorrow’s match as Bonnyrigg go in search of that elusive victory.
“We’ve had a terrible start to the season, but apart from Newtongrange from the so-called top teams, Bo’ness and Linlithgow both haven’t won their two games,” said Christie.
“I know we need to get started on Saturday – the importance of Saturday is massive for us now. We played well against Kelty for a while, but I just thought there was a level of acceptance when we went a goal down and that can’t be accepted. There were questions of our character and we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
One player who should have been looking forward to tomorrow’s match in particular is Bonnyrigg striker Steven Hislop, who made the move from Bo’ness during the summer. However, after picking up an Achilles injury in the opening-day defeat by Musselburgh, he is expected to be out for a month. Along with Hislop, Christie has several other players carrying knocks. But he insists his side have to get on with it. “We have been hit by a lot of injuries which has affected our pre-season, but it’s time to get on with it now. We need to raise our level of performance and erase individual mistakes,” he said.
“There is obviously pressure on myself and the players to get a result; it’s the first time we have lost two games in a row since I’ve been at the club and we need to show character to get going a bit.
“It’ll be a strong team which we’ll be putting out and we’ll be looking to go out and win the game.”
Bonnyrigg finished third in last season’s Super League behind Bo’ness and Linlithgow Rose and Christie insists his side have to be challenging at the top end of the table this year. If not, there could be serious questions over his position as manager.
“The expectation level at Bonnyrigg is right up there, to be winning leagues and cups and I’ve got to ensure that we are up there.
“We’ve got to win, the players know that and we have fallen short in the first two games. “There is always a great level of enthusiasm at the start of the season, but what we’ve got to remember is that there is still 28 games to go and we need to get back in to winning habits. Everybody at the club is aware of that and tomorrow there has to be an improvement in our character.”
Christie boosted his squad with the additions of former Hearts youngsters Johnny Stewart and Jonathan Brown during the close season, while 20-year-old Dean Carse joined on loan from League Two side Berwick Rangers.
Such signings should, on paper, improve Bonnyrigg’s side, however, Christie also lost eight players over the summer and he is still looking to add more players to boost his squad.
“We have freshened it up a bit and the guys that have come in are aware that we need to collectively and individually do better,” said Christie.
“We are working hard to try and get a couple in to boost the squad. We are looking to strengthen generally all over the place.”