Stranraer boss Jamie Hamill: We can push into play-off places
Stranraer kick off the second quarter of their cinch League 2 campaign this Saturday when they travel to Stirling Albion.
The Blues have been given pass marks – although only just – by boss Jamie Hamill for their efforts over the first nine games.
A haul of 11 points leaves them sixth in the table, but just three points off the promotion play-offs, in what is Hamill’s first season as a manager since succeeding Stevie Farrell in the summer.
Things didn’t start well with heavy 3-0 losses to Stirling Albion and Annan Athletic in their opening two home games.
A crippling injury list hasn’t helped – at one point Hamill had to name himself as a substitute and field an emergency loan goalie signed the night before after his three keepers were all ruled out.
But as the injury crisis eases there are signs that Stranraer’s season is picking up.
They have only lost once away from home – a narrow 1-0 defeat at unbeaten leaders Kelty Hearts – and have won their last two home matches, keeping clean sheets in both.
"Maybe a six - a five or a six [out of ten],” was Hamill’s verdict after his side beat Albion Rovers 1-0 in their last match before last weekend’s break.
"We've had two really bad games at home and a lot of people were maybe worried.
"But we never stop believing, we keep doing the right things.”
Although a managerial novice, Hamill has very definite ideas on the brand of football he wants his side to play.
And having had to oversee a fairly extensive revamp of his playing squad as well as a change in management, he is convinced his efforts and those of his backroom team Darryl Duffy and Scott Robertson are starting to bear fruit.
He said: “We're trying to impose a style of play that suits our team. All the boys are comfortable with the ball at their feet and going forward that's what I try and achieve.
"It's important that we continue looking forward and keep putting points on the board.
"I've got aspirations to keep on moving forward and break into the top four.
"There's good teams in this league and every team's fighting for different places but hopefully come the end of the season we'll be there or thereabouts."