East Kilbride Thistle plans to stifle expectations backfires with Arthurlie win


East Kilbride Thistle boss Alan Paterson admits his plan to stifle expectations at the Showpark backfired dramatically after they beat Super Premier side Arthurlie last week.

The Jags are unbeaten in pre-season ahead of their first competitive matches against Blantyre Victoria tonight and Cambuslang Rangers on Saturday, having won five times in five games.

Their latest win arrived last Wednesday evening when they stunned Arthurlie 3-2 away from home and they now head into their Sectional League Cup matches this week on a huge high.

But Paterson revealed: “I actually took the game on to try and bring the boys back down to earth a bit after the start we’ve had to pre-season, but that didn’t go to plan because they were brilliant.

East Kilbride Thistle boss Alan Paterson

“I thought this would show them it’s not going to be easy and there’s still a bit of work for us to do but I can’t really fault them with the performance they put in.

“It wasn’t a smash-and-grab or anything like that – and Arthurlie were at full strength. We kept the ball really well and Arthurlie’s committee were very complimentary to us after the game.

“For once I was more pleased with our defensive side of the game than anything else. You could see the hard work Paul Bain and John Brown have been putting in, working on our defensive shape.

“Arthurlie are three divisions above us, so to go and beat them in their own back yard is fantastic.

“It’s given us another wee boost.”

A double from Scott McKean and a Dougie Ryan strike delivered the victory for Paterson’s side, who were never behind at any point.

But the real tests start now with the trips to Blantyre and Cambuslang followed by home ties with Vale of Clyde and Glencairn next week.

“It’s down to the nitty gritty now,” said Paterson. “It’s a tough group and, while I don’t expect us to be whipping boys, I don’t expect us to win it either.

EK Thistle’s coaching team Alan Paterson, Steven McClung, Paul Bain and Chris McColl

“We’ve had all the teams watched and I would say Cambuslang are the favourites to top the group with the players they have brought in.

“But nobody expects us to do anything in this group, so the pressure is on Blantyre and Cambuslang.

“What I would say is the boys are playing with a bit of swagger now because they want to prove people wrong.

“We’ve been written off for this season since I came in, but there’s a winning mentality here and we want to keep it going.”

Tonight’s clash at KG Stadium is 6.45pm and Saturday’s match with Cambuslang is a 2pm kick-off at Somervill Park.



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