Newtongrange Star need 'nastier' streak to avoid East of Scotland relegation scrap

Newtongrange Star captain Adam Nelson says they need to become more “ruthless” and “nastier” if they are to avoid being in a Premier Division relegation scrap come the end of the season.
Newtongrange Star captain Mark NelsonNewtongrange Star captain Mark Nelson
Newtongrange Star captain Mark Nelson

Star sit joint-bottom of the table without a win after eight games, with tomorrow’s opponents at New Victoria Park, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, below them only on goal difference.

It’s not all doom and gloom, according to Nelson, however, as he believes they have the players in the squad to turn things around, while he feels they’ve been unfortunate to just pick up two points so far.

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“When we joined back up at the start of pre-season I looked around and I could see there was great potential in the squad with the mix of older players and young boys,” said the 37-year-old midfielder. “We just need to know when to kick the ball out of the park, when to keep possession and probably just be a bit more nastier.

“We’re easy on the eye to watch, but I’d definitely say we are easy to play against, teams are bullying us a little at the moment. We are playing really good stuff, Kingy [Chris King, manager] and Wes [Mitchell, assistant] want us to play out from the back and try to control games, but it feels on the pitch at every set piece we are a bit vulnerable and teams are capitalising on it.

“With the Bonnyrigg and Linlithgow teams I played in, that was our bread and butter, clearing set pieces and going up the other end and capitalising, and it just feels the other way around at the moment. I am sure we will get on top of it and things will become a bit better.”

Star suffered a Midlothian derby defeat last weekend at Whitehill Welfare as former Bonnyrigg Rose team-mate Wayne McIntosh struck a hat-trick, and in midweek they surrendered a two-goal lead away to Sauchie as they lost 3-2.

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Nelson continued: “Apart from Penicuik and Tranent, and the wee cluster of teams just below them, the rest of us are fighting it out already and that’s after seven games. Every game apart from the second half against Camelon and against Whitehill, we’ve been involved and had chances to win all of the games, we can’t seem to tuck away teams when we are dominating.

“If we weren’t competing, I’d definitely be worried, but we are seven games in and we need to start picking up points, we can’t just keep saying we are playing good football and we’re good to watch, we need to be a bit stronger. I’d rather roll the sleeves up for 90 minutes and scrape a 1-0.

“Kingy and Wes have got high standards, it doesn’t matter if you are 37 or 21, you play football to win. It’s not good coming home on a Saturday to my two kids and my partner, and not speaking to anybody, that’s not good for anyone. If you’re a young boy now, with restrictions lifting, I’d imagine you would want to go out and enjoy your Saturday night after a victory and playing well, you don’t want to be meeting up with your mates every week and saying you’ve been beaten again.

“For the time and effort that has gone into the changing rooms, the facilities with what they’ve done, we need to start to repay the fans and the committee on the pitch.”

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