Carluke Rovers chairman thrilled with start but promotion push remains 'unlikely'

Carluke Rovers chairman Ian McKnight thinks the club needs to add another two signings to have a squad capable of going for promotion this season
Carluke Rovers chairman Ian McKnight thinks the club needs to add another two signings to have a squad capable of going for promotion this season

Whilst thrilled that Carluke Rovers are up to second place in League Two after four games, club chairman Ian McKnight reckons it will be tough to mount a sustained promotion push, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Rovers – under the recently installed management team of Derek Wallace and David Menelaws – won 2-1 at Annbank United on Saturday to move onto the nine-point mark, just three behind leaders Ashfield who have a 100 per cent record.

“It is very early days,” John Cumming Stadium supremo McKnight told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette.

“But it is nice to be up there. At the moment, Derek and Davie are working hard to get the right players in the team.

“Both of them are learning very quickly in terms of the type of players that we need to compete in this division.

“I still think we are two players short in terms of being able to go for promotion.

“But the players have turned in good battling performances.

“At the moment, there is maybe a possibility that we have played some of the weaker teams in Division 2 and that is reflected in our position.

“For 45 minutes in each of the games we have come out of the traps really quickly and played composed football but then in the second half we have lost that composure and teams have threatened us.”

Rovers – whose winning goal on Saturday was scored by Shaun Watson – had Peter Byrne sent off in the second half and survived a late scare when Annbank failed to hit the target with a soft penalty kick.

One key man in Rovers’ impressive start to the campaign has been Eddie Haley, a regular scorer so far who netted their opener in the win.

“Eddie is in a rich vein of form and seems to be getting better game by game,” McKnight said.

“He is hitting a goal a game at least.

“We are happy with his early season form and things are going all right.

“Eddie has shown he has a fantastic turn of pace.

“He will make good runs in behind defenders.

“He is making those runs this season that he maybe wasn’t making last season.

“Eddie is very fit just now. He was carrying a few pounds last season so we maybe weren’t seeing the best of him.

“He is teaming up well with Mark Cassidy, who is playing in midfield due to Mark Weir’s hamstring injury.”

In terms of bringing in new players to boost the squad, McKnight said Rovers were frustrated recently when they were priced out of making a new signing by his wage demands not being within the club’s budget.

Rovers host St Anthony’s this Saturday, KO 2pm.