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Academy have nothing to fear against high-flying Fraserburgh, says Manson


By Alan Hendry

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Rothes defender Ryan McRitchie fouls Steven Anderson during the 1-1 draw at Mackessack Park last weekend – Academy's sixth score draw this season. Picture: Mel Roger
Rothes defender Ryan McRitchie fouls Steven Anderson during the 1-1 draw at Mackessack Park last weekend – Academy's sixth score draw this season. Picture: Mel Roger

Wick Academy manager Gary Manson insists there is "absolutely nothing to fear" when Highland League leaders Fraserburgh visit Harmsworth Park on Saturday.

The Broch are six points clear at the top, having won seven of their opening eight fixtures and drawn the other, while Academy are still searching for their first victory of the campaign. Last Saturday's game at Rothes, which ended 1-1, was the Scorries' sixth score draw and they have lost their other two matches.

Manson still has a number of players sidelined but four who missed the trip to Mackessack Park – Danny Mackay, Ross Allan, Davie Allan and Alan Hughes – are ready to return.

“We'll probably be missing six or seven players, but we welcome back Danny, Ross, Davie and Alan," Manson said.

“We're getting no continuity at the moment with squads or starting elevens, but hopefully after this weekend it all settles down and then we've got the Scottish Cup [at home to Bo'ness United] the week after. Hopefully we can start getting a settled squad again."

Asked whether high-flying Fraserburgh represent the biggest test yet for his team, Manson said: “On paper it probably is. You know what you get with Fraserburgh.

"They've had a settled core squad for a number of years now, so there will be no surprises – we know exactly how they will play and we'll know exactly their personnel as well.

“It'll be a tough test but one that I'm sure we'll be equal to. We'll be looking forward to it and it'll just be another game where we're trying to get a win.

“There is absolutely nothing to fear. I know they've started well, I know they're the top of the league, but we're a good team on our day, as we've proved already this season. There is nothing to fear whatsoever."

Academy go into the match in 14th place in the table, but Manson says the league standings don't tell the full story.

“The normal saying is that league tables don't lie. But if ever there was a league table that did lie then it's this current one," he said.

“You look at where we are in the league and you look at how many points we have, but our performances have warranted a lot more than what we have to show for it.

“It's still early days in the league so I'm quite confident that we'll be pushing up the table sooner rather than later. Hopefully it starts on Saturday."

He added: “It's all a learning curve and we've got some young, inexperienced boys in the side. It's a case of learning and moving forward."

Manson will have to watch the game from the stand as he serves the remaining part of the suspension following his recent red card at Keith. Assistant manager Michael Gray will be in charge in the technical area.

Manson said: “During the game Michael will be in control of the dugout area but it'll just be a case of sharing all the duties like we normally do.”

Highland League fixtures for Saturday: Brora Rangers v Buckie Thistle; Clachnacuddin v Deveronvale; Formartine United v Huntly; Forres Mechanics v Turriff United; Fort William v Inverurie Locos; Lossiemouth v Keith; Nairn County v Brechin City; Strathspey Thistle v Rothes; Wick Academy v Fraserburgh.


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