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Out of form Can-Cans can't be written off, says Scorries boss

By Matt Leslie

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Skipper Alan Farquhar will be putting in goal-saving challenges such as this one on Saturday as boss Tom McKenna confirmed the defender will be back in the team to face Forres Mechanics. Picture: Mel Roger
Skipper Alan Farquhar will be putting in goal-saving challenges such as this one on Saturday as boss Tom McKenna confirmed the defender will be back in the team to face Forres Mechanics. Picture: Mel Roger

WICK Academy boss Tom McKenna has warned his men they can't afford to underestimate Forres Mechanics in Saturday's Highland League clash at Harmsworth Park.

The Scorries have bounced back from last month's 4-0 thumping at Buckie to rack up successive wins against Fort William (4-1 at home) and Turriff United (3-2 away), giving them a 100 per cent record so far in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Can-Cans have not had the season that they would have hoped for. You have to go as far back as November 20 for their last league victory – a 3-0 win against Clach. They have drawn one and lost four of their last five matches.

A win for Wick on Saturday would allow them to leapfrog their visitors.

While current form would suggest the Scorries are favourites for this one, McKenna is taking nothing for granted.

He said: "Forres are not having an easy time of it just now but it would be foolish to write them off for this one.

"Regardless of their results of late, they are still a good team and the cornered tiger principle could come to the fore if we're not at our best.

We've got to expect a reaction from them.

"Because a team is not doing too well, some might be thinking that playing them will be easy – but they are capable of coming out fighting and getting back to how they know they can play.

"On the other hand, it could be a good time to play them because of their last few results. But we will be leaving nothing to chance.

"We've got to expect a reaction from them. A lot of things have not gone their way but they're too good a side to let that continue.

"Games between us are usually close affairs and they're also entertaining as well.

"The 2-2 draw at their place this season and the cup tie we won at home against them last season [a 1-0 win for Wick] were two very good games to watch.

"They're similar to us in that they like to get the ball on the deck and pass it around so if the weather conditions are good, it should be an entertaining match."

McKenna is also hopeful of Academy's squad numbers being boosted ahead of the match.

"We're some way from seeing the long-term injury casualties such as Marc Macgregor and Grant Steven back," he said.

"Ben Sinclair, Craig Gunn and Ross Allan are back in light training, but it might be too early for them to step back into the first team for this one.

"Alan Farquhar will be back. He was only absent last week because of a commitment that had been arranged a long while ago. He'll return to lead the side out.

"The same goes for Jonah Martens and Kuba Koziol. Last week Jonah was at a funeral, while Kuba could not get time off his work.

"Sean McCarthy could be back in goal for us. He's had an issue with his groin which kept him out for the Turriff game but we'll monitor his progress before making a final decision."

The victory at Turriff last weekend featured a first Academy goal for Grant Aitkenhead, and McKenna had some words of encouragement for the youngster.

"I'm delighted for him because Grant has put in the hard miles with us," the manager said. "He works hard in training and has had to be very patient in terms of getting first-team action.

"I'd love to give him and the rest of the youngsters more but I've got to get us three points first. If we're doing well in a game and in control of it, I can put them on the park then.

"But Grant got an opportunity and took it with a good performance and a goal. I'm delighted for him as he's well liked by the rest of the squad."

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