Greigy's grit can turn the tide and get Vics back to safe harbour

Blantyre Vics reach the halfway point in their Central Second Division campaign tomorrow with manager Davie Greig insisting it is only a matter of time before his players chalk up their first league win of the season.

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Davie Greig is confident Vics can turn tide of defeats
Davie Greig is confident Vics can turn tide of defeats

It's been a less than auspicious beginning to his Castle Park reign for the seasoned Junior boss who raised plenty of eyebrows in August when he quit First Division St Rochs to move into the Vics hotseat.

The ailing Lanarkshire outfit were rooted to the bottom of the table when he assumed control.

But the future looked instantly brighter after his first game in charge resulted in Vics picking up their first point of the season, thanks to a 2-2 draw against Rossvale.

That early September breakthrough, however, proved to be nothing more than a false dawn as the famous old club, whose list of past players includes Jock Stein, Billy McNeill and Joe Jordan, went on to lose four of their next five Stagecoach League games.

Marginal credibility was only restored through eking out another point from a 2-2 draw at home to Vale of Clyde – coincidentally their opponents at Fullarton Park tomorrow.

But Geig is adamant that his players have the stomach for the battle to bring about a reversal in Blantyre's fortunes.

He said: "We lost 3-1 to Royal Albert last weekend in what was only our second game in two months, but the application shown was outstanding.

"We just needed a rub of the green to take something out of the game, but unfortunately it wasn't to be.

"Nothing summed up their wholehearted efforts more than a clash of heads that saw Terry Hewitt suffering a bad gash across his forehead that later required stitches.

"Our physio knew it was a bad one needing hospital attention and wanted Terry to come off. But he was determined to play and we almost had to sedate him to get him off.

"He's on the mend and looking likely to declare himself fit to face the Tin Pail, which is a major boost as I'm expecting a pretty testing time of it from Ian Currie and his players.

"They were one of the in-form teams and had won four games on the spin prior to the winter weather causing a whole spate of postponements.

"So we will need to be on our guard against them starting away as they left off."

Greig believes his decision to bring on board former Shettleston midfielder Willie Shand has lifted morale among his Vics playing charges.

He added: "Willie has been away from the Juniors scene for a number of years and is not yet the same livewire he was on the pitch during his heyday.

"But off the pitch, he's a great character and Castle Park is now a lively place on match days and training nights.

"Everyone wants results to be better, but there are certainly no long faces and nobody is allowed to feel sorry for themselves with him around.

"And this dressing-room spirit will stand us in good stead in the months ahead."

Blantyre share the unwanted distinction of not having won a league match this season with Super Premier outfit Shotts Bon Accord, Whitletts Vics from the Super First Division as well as Central First bottom markers East Kilbride Thistle who do not have a single point from their opening 10 games.

Greig has admitted to making tentative approaches in the hope of strengthening playing resources.

However, he refused to disclose whether one of his targets is Scott Fulton, recently transfer-listed by Whitletts Vics at his own request.

Also on the transfer front comes news of clubs enquiring after the availability of Petershill striker Joe Barclay, given the former Kilsyth Rangers hitman's noticeable absence from the Springburn side's line-ups in recent weeks.

And one hears East Region side Bo'ness United's willingness to listen to offers for ex-Shettleston stopper Ryan Kennedy – brother of Celtic coach John – could see him coming back to these parts.

But it's looking unlikely his destination will be Kilbirnie Ladeside – one of the clubs linked with a signing interest – as the Ayrshiremen are believed to be pursuing their former centreback Robbie Cochrane, who is on the open to transfer list at Largs Thistle.

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