Robbie Horn can turn it round and steer Bonnyrigg Rose out of relegation trouble
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It doesn’t get any easier this weekend with a trip to league leaders Dumbarton coming up and a third straight defeat a real possibility. Even if that does happen, I still fancy Robbie Horn to steer his team to safety.
The manager was loyal and kept faith with the vast majority of his promotion-winning squad. He got off to a positive start in the SPFL, but fading form at the back end of last year has persuaded him to freshen up his group in January. Four new players have arrived, some of them on loan, and other squad players who had served the club very well have been allowed to move on.
Lack of goals is one of the problems, 23 in 20 games making them the second-lowest scorers in the division, one ahead of Forfar. But it is not a new issue. Bonnyrigg were not a prolific scoring machine last season, even when running away with the Lowland League title and winning the promotion play-off.
What they had was an experienced squad with incredible resilience, defensive organisation, team spirit, game management and a winning mentality. They were too good for most Lowland League teams, and knew how to grind out a victory against the better sides.
The step up to League Two has meant facing better sides every week and it has taken its toll. But Bonnyrigg, one of the best supported teams in League 2, haven’t lost what made them so successful last season. That much was evident on Christmas Eve when I watched them dig deep, roll up their sleeves and record a big 3-2 home win over Stranraer in front of a huge home crowd at New Dundas Park.
Off the pitch, the club has made huge steps forward, not least with upgrades to the ground in a short space of time. On the pitch, there is enough quality and the new players will freshen things up.
Horn is a fantastic manager and knows what it takes at this level. With three homes to come in February, he can turn it round.