Aug 31 2012 by Mike WIlson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
MARK ROBERTS claims Ayr United’s game against Stranraer on Saturday is the biggest of his footballingcareer.
And he warned: “It’s massive for the players as well.”
Eight goals conceded in three games have plunged Ayr to second bottom and turned up the heat at Somerset Park.
Boss Roberts claimed: “I don’t feel under any pressure but we need to get that win. Three points would be great going into the international break.
“The boys play the game like they are entertainers and need to realise that this is their job. This is their livelihood and hopefully the penny will drop soon.
“The sooner they realise it’s not youth football, the better it will be for everybody.”
Roberts is hoping for a turnaround in fortunes when Ayr head to St Mirren in the League Cup on Wednesday evening.
Jonathan Tiffoney, now free from a three game ban, was set to end his contract uncertainty by signing a deal that would allow him to play.
Martyn Campbell, who has missed the last two defeats with a calf strain, trained on Monday and is in line to start.
But John Robertson, who came off during the 3-2 defeat by Forfar, was counted out with calf trouble. And Ryan McStay remains on the sidelines. Ayr were 5/1 outsiders to win at Paisley and that’s the way Roberts likes it.
He said: “There is no chance of us going there with any fear. We’ll play the same 4-4-2 but make ourselves hard to break down.
“It’s a game that could kick start our season and have an affect on us...but I’m hoping it’s a kick start.”
Despite the chance of a money spinning cup run, Roberts isn’t losing focus on the importance of the weekend derby trip to Stranraer.
He said: “The Second Division is a battle and we have to wise up. For a lot of the young boys, Saturday’s game will be the biggest of their career.
“We’re sitting with only one point when it should be seven because we should have beaten both Arbroath and Forfar.
“But looking at the DVD of the games we have lost it’s embarrassing to see the goals we have given away.”
A shining light has been the form of summer signing Davie Sinclair whose double against Forfar took his tally for the season to five.
Roberts said: “A midfielder who can score goals is worth his weight in gold. Davie could have scored four on Saturday and looked good as did young Robbie Crawford.”
New signing Marc Twaddle, who is short of match fitness, is set to get 90 minutes under his belt in a bounce game against Troon on Thursday.
Ship Inn bus to St Mirren leaves at 6.15pm. Bus to Stranraer departs at 11.30am. Seats from 885766.
Ayr are 10/11 to beat Stranraer who are 11/5. McBookie.com make the draw 5/2.