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Boss wants Buckie reaction at Rothes

By Craig Christie

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BUCKIE Thistle face a battle to stay top of the Highland League with two tough matches this week – but their manager wants to win them both.

Celebrating his recent winner against Nairn, Buckie Thistle on-loan Ross County defender Jack Murray is fit for a return from injury.
Celebrating his recent winner against Nairn, Buckie Thistle on-loan Ross County defender Jack Murray is fit for a return from injury.

Manager Graeme Stewart is asking his players to give him a reaction to their first back-to-back defeats in an otherwise superb season so far.

After a blank weekend, Buckie make the trip to Rothes who have won all of their last five league outings and are flying under new boss Ross Jack.

As if that won’t be difficult enough, Jags then head north on Saturday to take on title favourites Brora Rangers.

Both games will be a test of Jags’ title credentials, and Stewart is keen to see his team bounce back from the shock 4-3 defeat at Huntly in their last match.

That result followed on from the Scottish Cup exit at Bonnyrigg in front of the TV cameras, but Stewart believes they can return to winning ways this week.

“Every game is a big game but these two are massive this week,” he said. “Especially on the back of two defeats, we need to show some sort of spirit and prove we can bounce back.

“We’ve got to aim to win both matches and that’s what we will do. We’ll set out a game plan to try and win them both and we know we’ve got the players to go out and do it.

“It’s all about them going out there and performing on the day.”

Wednesday's Highland League matches:

Clachnacuddin v Brora Rangers

Formartine United v Inverurie Locos

Huntly v Turriff United

Nairn County v Forres Mechanics

Rothes v Buckie Thistle

Wick Academy v Strathspey Thistle

Stewart missed the Huntly game due to a work trip to USA, but has promised to make changes to his line-up in response to the defeat.

He has good news on the selection front, with Ross County loan defender Jack Murray now recovered from a hand injury while goalkeeper Daniel Bell is over a recent injury and both will feature in the Jags squad at MacKessack Park.

“Rothes have done really well since Ross Jack took over. He’s a very good manager and they will be looking to take a scalp knowing a win over us puts them firmly in contention.

Forres Mechanics could climb above Nairn County if they pick up a derby victory at Station Park.

And Huntly will be aiming to continue a good run of form when they host Turriff United.

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