Mark Weir: New Carluke gaffer suffers baptism of fire in 6-0 defeat at Bellshill Athletic

Carluke Rovers manager Mark Weir (left) and his assistant gaffer Kenny Neill
Carluke Rovers manager Mark Weir (left) and his assistant gaffer Kenny Neill

Mark Weir was given a brutal introduction to life as a permanent football gaffer as his Carluke Rovers side were battered 6-0 at Bellshill Athletic on Saturday, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Weir (40) – in his first match since being upgraded after a promising spell as interim manager – endured a torrid afternoon in this League One encounter at a bumpy Rockburn Park.

“Considering the start I had as an interim manager it was a poor day,” Weir told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette.

“First 25 minutes, up until they scored their first goal, I thought we were the better team.

“We had chances and then it was a six or seven minute spell they just hit us with three rapid goals and the boys’ heads went down.

“Then the second half it didn’t help when one of our guys – Gary Livingstone – got sent off.

“To be honest we were lucky it was only six goals in the end.”

Rovers were blighted by the absence of goalkeeper Adam Brown through suspension, which meant that goalie coach Gordon Bruce lined up between the sticks at Bellshill.

Weir added: “Saturday’s game was a learning curve for myself. Obviously I’m new into it and here’s hoping it was just a blip.

“It’s a whole new thing I need to try.

“I take it on the chin and move on because I know what the boys can do.

“It’s the same boys that got me the job.

“They are more than capable of going and beating teams like Bellshill and also Lanark, especially when we’re at home.”

Rovers have the chance to bounce back from their Bellshill mauling in a home league derby against local rivals Lanark United – the new leaders – at John Cumming Stadium this Saturday.

Weir said: “Lanark have a few ex-Carluke players, ex-manager (Colin Slater).

“Playing Lanark is always one of my favourite games of the season.

“Everybody wants to play in a derby match.

“There will be one or two changes to the team against Lanark, nothing drastic.

“Our keeper will be back and Gary Livingstone is suspended.

“And there will be a different formation.

“Bellshill was a tight park and we like to use our pace and use the wings.”

After landing the permanent manager gig, Weir has officially hung up his boots 20 years after first starring for the club as a player.

He said: “It probably was an easy decision to hang up my boots.

“It’s maybe the only opportunity I was going to get taking full control so I had to basically jump at it when it was offered.

“I just don’t think you can be a player and managing.

“I did try it at the start when I was the interim manager and it was hard the first two games to try and pick the team and also play in the same team.”

Rovers fielded trialists during a friendly against Muirkirk on Monday night and Weir said he was considering bringing some new faces.

“I’m still looking at making one or two new signings,” he said.

“The quicker the better.”