Uni boss Dorian Ogunro staying grounded despite solid start

Dorian Ogunro
Dorian Ogunro
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Edinburgh University boss Dorian Ogunro admits he couldn’t have envisaged his side would be sitting third in the Lowland League with a return of four points from their first two games.

It isn’t uncommon for Ogunro to find himself short of options at this stage of the season with students not due to return until the new academic year begins towards the end of next month.

This season has been no different. However, taking into account the departure of talisman and now graduate Jack Guthrie, Ogunro’s preparations have been made somewhat tougher this year.

However, a handsome 3-0 victory at Gretna 2008 in the league curtain raiser last weekend was followed up with a well-earned point at home to champions Spartans on Wednesday night.

Capital rivals Civil Service Strollers are next to descend on Peffermill tomorrow but Ogunro is a coach who likes to stay grounded.

“If you’d asked me prior to last Saturday that we’d have four points from our first two games, I would have bitten your hand off,” the Uni manager said. “It’s been a great start. It’s the first time since we came into the Lowland League that we’ve won our first game so I’m absolutely delighted.

“I’m not reading too much into it. It’s nice to be sitting third but we’ve only played two games so there’s 28 more to go.

“It was a decent performance at Gretna, we kept a clean sheet but there is still a lot we can improve on. We then showed up very well against the champions on Wednesday which was really pleasing.

“We’re still not as fit as we can be, and we still don’t have our full squad yet as usual, but we traditionally struggle with numbers at this stage of the season.”

On the last season’s top goalscorer Guthrie’s exit, Ogunro added: “Jack’s started his first medical job in Bristol so we’ve lost him along with a few others as they’ve all now graduated. We’ve brought in players who were playing for the seconds and under-21s last year and they’ve done well so far.

“They’re committed and we’ve had guys travelling from Glasgow for every training session too so that’s really encouraging. I do enjoy the rebuilding process because it keeps me motivated and fresh. I’m pleased we’ve got this run of games as we want to build on the momentum now.

“I’d like to think we can finish in the top six. That maybe sounds very ambitious and I’ve no idea if that is achievable, but in terms of the way we performed last season against the top teams, we were really good. We just need to tighten up in our approach when we play the teams around us. Clearly we’ve got the ability as you can’t beat the top teams consistently if you don’t have the quality.

“We played Civil towards the end of last season when Gary (Jardine) was involved and they beat us comfortably. They were very good. I am under no illusions this will be a tough 
match.

“We will need to perform well if we are to take anything. We need to approach the match with the same desire and intensity as the Spartans match.”

Strollers will be hoping for a quick-fire response after the 2-0 defeat at Stirling University in midweek.

Meanwhile, Whitehill Welfare are on the lookout for a new manager despite the new season being just six days old.

The club severed ties with Gary Small on Wednesday night, 24 hours after the 6-0 thrashing by Kelty Hearts. The club also lost 4-1 to Edusport Academy last weekend.

“I’m gutted to say the least,” Small said. “I’ve worked so hard for the past few months to prepare for the new season just to be sacked after two games.”

Assistant manager Jock Landells has agreed to step in for tomorrow’s visit of Gretna.

Elsewhere, Spartans go in search of their first win of the season with a trip to Vale of Leithen.