Spartans ‘need to be ruthless’

Gary Cennerazzo says players must rediscover their early-season form
Gary Cennerazzo says players must rediscover their early-season form
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Spartans defender Gary Cennerazzo is refusing to use the club’s Scottish Cup run as an excuse as they prepare to face Edinburgh University tomorrow.

The left-back could see where his manager was coming from with his comments following last week’s 3-0 home loss to BSC Glasgow, but refused to blame their success elsewhere for not performing on Lowland League duty. “After such a high against Morton it became a wee bit of a distraction, but there’s still no excuses,” said Cennerazzo. “We’ve got too good a squad to be where we are in the league and to be getting the results we’ve had lately. We need to get together, work hard and make the performances better than they have been recently.

“A couple of our performances have been pretty good, but we’re not putting the ball in the net and making individual errors which is costing us. Maybe a wee bit of luck has gone against us, but it’s just a bad blip. We need to keep focusing on our process, try and stay confident and aim to make Ainslie Park a fortress again.

“A lot of teams have sat in and made it hard for us then played on the counter attack. Maybe that’s something we’ve struggled to address and we need to work around that, be patient and avoid being hit on the break as has happened a few times. So far it hasn’t been good enough so we need to take the initiative early in games and kill teams off – we need to be as ruthless as we were last season.”

Edinburgh University visit Ainslie Park tomorrow aiming to inflict the champions’ fourth successive home league defeat. Last Saturday’s loss came on the back of wins for Preston Athletic and Whitehill Welfare either side of Christmas and New Year. Only the Lowland League Cup has yielded positive results for the south Edinburgh side in recent weeks, and Cennerazzo is desperate to put that right.

“Our number one priority is to bounce back,” he said. “It was a very disappointing result last Saturday so we need to get back to basics and get the three points this week and try to build up some momentum again.”

Spartans were the first side to visit Uni’s revamped East Peffermill ground earlier in the season and were forced to leave with just a point when a last minute equaliser ensured a 2-2 draw. Cennerazzo hopes to go one better this time as the Students make the journey to north Edinburgh.

“We’re looking forward to it,” he said. “You know it’s always going to be a hard game against Edinburgh Uni. They’re a fit bunch, they work hard and they’re very well organised. We’re at home though and we’re looking to bounce back with three points and make amends for the painful way we dropped points last time against them. They always up their game when we play them. I can only speak from playing against them for Spartans but it’s one of the biggest games of the season, especially with the connection between Dougie and their club. They’ll be up for it and we know we’ll have to up our game as well considering the last few weeks, but hopefully we can get the three points.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, Preston Athletic host BSC Glasgow at the Pennypit. The Panners are aiming to halt a dreadful run, having lost three in a row following last week’s 3-2 League Cup defeat by Stirling Uni.