Ross Allum hopes his return to the Edinburgh City squad can coincide with better fortunes for the Ferrari Packaging Lowland League champions when they take on Preston Athletic at the Pennypit tomorrow.
The striker has missed City’s last two matches through suspension following an admittedly harsh sending off in the 1-0 Edinburgh derby win over Spartans earlier this month.
That meant he missed the following week’s 1-0 defeat away to Dalbeattie Star, whilst already suspended for the weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup second round home loss to Buckie Thistle. Allum was given a straight red in last year’s third round defeat by Brora Rangers.
Now available for selection again, he hopes to help fire Gary Jardine’s team back to winning ways. “The suspension’s been a sore one to take, especially since I felt the red against Spartans was a bit harsh,” Allum explained. “The Scottish Cup one was obviously carried over from last year against Brora which again, was hard to take because I’d forgotten all about about it to be honest! I’m choking to get back involved this weekend – I’ve been training hard so hopefully I’ve got a chance of a start.”
Allum also revealed he’s had to learn some lessons in terms of discipline after more than one dismissal last year. “I’d never really been sent of before then to get three in one season last year was quite hard to take. It’s something I’ve learnt from, big time – the hard way I suppose but to get two pretty soft bookings in a big game against Spartans, I was disappointed. I’ve taken it on the chin and hopefully it won’t happen again.”
Whilst last season’s top scorer isn’t suggesting his absence was the reason for City’s last two defeats, being available again is clearly a boost for Jardine. “He did have a few words with me to say that it might have been slightly different if I was playing, but you never know,” he said. “The boys have been doing really well in the games that I have and haven’t been involved in so it’s tough to judge. Against Buckie we weren’t good enough on the day and it was clear to see if you were at the game. Against Dalbeattie I felt we created enough chances to win but didn’t take them. I’m just hoping to get back in and do what I can do.”
Allum now has striking competition in the shape of Ousman See, who has made a blistering start to his City career – something the No.9 fully welcomes. “It’s only good for me and the club,” Allum said. “Big Ouzy’s scored a good few goals since he’s come in and it makes you train a little bit harder when there’s someone pushing you. We’ve signed Dean Carse as well and Ross Guthrie’s coming back to fitness so there’s plenty competition for spaces.
“The first time me and Ouzy played as a pair was the Spartans game but obviously what happened, happened and I got sent off. I think the two of us could play really well up front – it’s maybe something the manager wants to play about with, I don’t know. It’d be good to play alongside him because I think we help each other’s game.”
It could be one way to overcome a Preston Athletic side that have been performing well of late. “Going down to the Pennypit is never easy” Allum said. “We played well there last year and beat them 5-1 but on another day the score could have been anything. We know we need to be at our best.”