Gary Irvine says the job still isn't done yet at Forfar

Gary Irvine says Forfar's focus is now on catching Annan and getting into second spotGary Irvine says Forfar's focus is now on catching Annan and getting into second spot
Gary Irvine says Forfar's focus is now on catching Annan and getting into second spot
Forfar Athletic manager Gary Irvine says his side won’t take their eye of the ball now a top-four place has been secured.

A 2-0 win at Stranraer on Saturday was enough for the Station Park side to reach the play-offs, goals coming late in the game from Craig Slater and Stefan McCluskey.

Forfar have been in or around the top four for the entire season and, given their points advantage over those behind them, it was always a case of when and not if a place in the play-offs was won.

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The early part of the campaign saw Irvine’s side pull away with eventual League Two winners Kelty Hearts until the Fife side stretched ahead around the turn of the year.

Annan Athletic have leapfrogged Forfar into second place in recent weeks and Irvine says his side is now fully focused on getting that spot back before any attention turns to the play-off games.

“We’ve ticked that play-off box now but it doesn’t stop there,” said the manager.

"Our aim is to finish the season as strong as possible and get into second place now that Kelty have secured the league.

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"We know ourselves as a group that we have been stuttering in the last month or so, so it’s about getting back to the consistency that we showed in the first part of the season and take that right through to the end.

"The standards we set in the first part of the season saw us accumulate the highest points total that the club has achieved.

"We were pushing Kelty as far as we could, sitting in second spot.

"That tailed off at the turn of the year which we weren’t happy about.

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"We were up against a few different things with injuries and Covid-19 wasn’t kind.

"Everyone was in that same boat though.

"It’s now about getting back to it and finishing off in second.”

Forfar have four games to play, starting this Saturday with a trip to Ainslie Park to meet Edinburgh City.

Should Irvine’s side return to Angus with all three points that will then set-up a mouthwatering match with Annan a week later at Station Park.

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"We know it’ll be hard because we have four tough games coming up, but we want to build on Saturday,” added the boss.

"Our results lately have been good.

"I know they’ve been against teams a bit lower down in the division but those teams are the teams who are showing a bit of form at the moment.

"We’ve had tough games against Cowdenbeath and Stirling so we’re back on winning ways and feeling good.

"The confidence is building again.

"We want to go into the play-off games, and whoever it is we’re going to come up against, with a winning mentality and momentum.

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"The squad are all feeling good about themselves and that’s the most important factor.

"Edinburgh have had a change of manager which can give an extra bit of drive in a team with someone new coming in with new ideas.

"They’ll be buying into that but it can easily go the other way as well. That’s up to them to deal with but, ourselves, we’ll go down there looking to build on a good win away from home at a tough place like Stranraer.”

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