YOU need to be able to roll with the punches to come through what Tony McInally has in his Pollok managerial career and one gets the feeling his resilience may well be needed over the next month or so.

The Newlandsfield outfit’s results have always tended to attract more scrutiny than other clubs but Macca and his playing charges can expect to come more and more under the microscope as they enter a crunch autumnal period.

Going down to unexpected defeats in their opening two Super Premier Division contests by Kilbirnie Ladeside and Cumnock attracted a barrage of criticism that was softened to a degree through victory over Kilwinning Rangers last weekend, however should these winning ways (Pollok have won seven of their nine competitive outings to date) suffer a blip then you can bet on fingers being pointed once again.

Macca, who has loaned back-up goalkeeper Derek Moore to Maryhill, is aware of the intensity that goes with the territory of managing Glasgow’s biggest club but he is not fazed by the prospect of the formidable challenges that are stacking up, beginning with the Southside giants hosting the visit of Girvan today.

Indeed he is looking forward to the top-flight encounter particularly as the return of his cornerstone defender Martin McGoldrick – from working abroad – gives him the luxury of almost a full playing squad, inclusive of latest midfield addition, Ryan McGregor, from which to pick his starting XI.

The Lok gaffer said: “Ross McCabe cracked a couple of ribs in the game against Kilbirnie and has been too sore and tender to figure ever since, which posed a selection problem in midweek when we faced Renfrew in the Sectional Cup semi-finals.

“Goldie was out in Dubai so most people were thinking I would bring Grant Evans into a more central role at the back, however I had no qualms about asking Mark Sideserf to play there as I trusted him to do the job required.

“Sidey is a very capable and intelligent player with a good appreciation of the Junior game and is probably at his playing peak just now so to my mind he fully deserves his call up to the Junior Scotland side .

“He was outstanding against Renfrew and I will not hesitate to use him as a central defender again if needs must.”

Macca added: “All four players picked for the Quadrangular Tournament fully deserve their recognition and everyone at the club wishes them well but first and foremost they are Pollok players and I expect them to be fully focused on the job in hand today…that of picking up three points against Girvan.

“Their manager Peter Leonard has put together a compact and very well organised side that doesn’t lack for physicality and they may well be difficult to break down.

“But our dressing room doesn’t lack for creativity and it helps our cause that the players are fired up to do well in front of our own supporters to try and make amends for losing to Kilbirnie.”

The 2-0 midweek defeat of Renfrew that has clinched a Sectional Cup Final date with Clydebank came at a heavy price for Macca and his troops as a result of the red-card dismissals of striking duo Stefan McCluskey and Alan McKenzie.

Macca was also sent packing for comments made to whistler Stephen Brown in the aftermath of McKenzie seeing red, however he dodged any questions on his own sending off to insist: “It’s a blow to have both players punished with two-game bans which will see them miss our forthcoming league games against Rob Roy and Glenafton.

“They are available to face Girvan as their bans don’t kick in until Monday but I have to consider whether to give game time to the strikers who will be replacing them in the coming weeks.”

No date or venue has been set for the Central Sectional finale, however West Region bosses have confirmed Meadow Park on Sunday, October 8, for playing the Ardagh Glass Cup Final between Auchinleck Talbot and Glenafton.

Having no definite kick-off time for the showpiece occasion could be down to officials being aware of Scotland playing their final World Cup qualifier away to Slovenia that same day (kick-off 5pm).

In other Super Premier head to heads, reigning champions Glenafton are through in Barrhead to face manager Craig McEwan’s former club Arthurlie, Clydebank are down in the Ayrshire heartlands to face Auchinleck while a weakened Rob Roy, minus goalscoring midfielder Shaun Fraser and with an injury doubt hanging over big stopper Danny Boyle are going up against Cumnock at nearby Townhead Park.


(Kick-offs 2pm) Super Premier Division: Kilbirnie Ladeside v Hurlford Utd, Arthurlie v Glenafton, Auchinleck Talbot v Clydebank, Beith v Kilwinning Rangers, Pollok v Girvan, Cumnock v Rob Roy. Super First Division: Cumbernauld Utd v Cambuslang Rangers, Troon v Shettleston, Kello Rovers v Darvel, Maryhill v Petershill, Irvine Meadow v Renfrew, Rutherglen Glencairn v Kilsyth Rangers, Larkhall Thistle v Largs Thistle. First Division: Forth Wanderers v Yoker Athletic, East Kilbride Thistle v Neilston, Port Glasgow v Glasgow Perthshire, Rossvale v St Roch's, Shotts Bon Accord v Thorniewood Utd, Greenock v Lesmahagow,Wishaw v Benburb. Central Second Division: Carluke Rovers v Vale of Clyde, Johnstone Burgh v Lanark Utd, Bellshill Athletic v Royal Albert, Vale of Leven v Newmains Utd, Gartcairn v Ashfield, St Anthony's v Dunipace. Ayrshire District Division: Maybole v Ardrossan Winton Rovers, Annbank Utd v Muirkirk, Dalry Thistle v Ardeer Thistle, Irvine Vics v Maybole, Craigmark v Saltcoats Vics, Whitletts Vics v Irvine Vics.