'Our young stars are making their Marc'
ROSS Suttar has praised Wick Academy's rising stars for the way they are adapting to life in the Highland League and giving rival clubs plenty to think about.
Speaking after the Scorries' stunning 6-2 win against Inverurie Locos on Saturday, the Wick co-assistant manager highlighted the contributions of Marc Macgregor and his strike partner Gordon MacNab who grabbed three goals between them.
"I think Marc Macgregor is vital to us," Suttar said. "Everything he does is brilliant. He holds the ball up, he drops off, he's scoring goals – it's now four in the last three games.
"He was injured for a while as well and I think today you've seen that he's nearly back at full fitness. He's still only 23 so he's got plenty of time left at this level of football.
"Gordon MacNab is looking really good as well and I think they are really starting to find their feet in the Highland League.
"I think a lot of people in Caithness forget how big a jump it is from summer football or even North Caledonian to Highland League – it's a huge jump, and these players are really starting to make a mark on the league. Teams are now looking at these players and saying 'we've got a problem here'. These boys are good players."
Suttar felt that Academy were helped rather than hindered by the rain-soaked surface at Harmsworth Park. "It speeds the game up and the ball zips a lot faster," he said.
"They played very well with the conditions. They kept the ball on the floor, they passed it with a lot of pace, everything was so quick and it was entertaining to watch.
"Obviously we got a good result away to Turriff last Saturday and that started the week off well. We went into training on Tuesday and Thursday, the boys worked as hard as they could, and to come and put six past a very good team like that is brilliant."
Senior players such as Richard Macadie, Davie Allan and Sam Mackay laid the groundwork for Saturday's result as they took the game by the scruff of the neck. It was Academy's biggest ever victory against Locos and it made a mockery of a home record that had hitherto shown just one win all season.
Suttar said: "Sam Mackay has not been able to train much and has not been available much on Saturdays due to work commitments, so to give a performance like that just shows how good a professional he is and how good a footballer he is.
"Last week [at Turriff] was only our second clean sheet of the season. All of a sudden you get a clean sheet and if you can build the confidence from the back I think it goes through the team. The front six can start to think 'you know what, I'm safe with my back four, I can go and attack and I can do my job without having to worry'."
The only minor disappointment for Academy was that they conceded two untidy goals from set-pieces. Suttar says this is something that will be looked at in training.
"Every day is a learning day," he said. "We've got to be stronger in these set-piece areas."