JIM Duffy expects the hectic run of games between now and the end of the season to test his ability as a manager as much as it will ask questions of his players.
The Broadwood boss’ side were outplayed by league leaders Arbroath at Broadwood on Saturday and found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline.
But, true to the chaotic manner that has defined the second half of this season, Clyde will have no chance to draw breath as they head north-east to face The Red Lichties on their own patch tonight.
Duffy said: “On Saturday we were beaten by a better team. They showed why they’re top. We started ok for the first 20 minutes and hit the post, but they scored two goals very quickly and kept the ball very well. We never really got back in after that.
“I’ve got no complaints, when a team go a couple up and start moving the ball about, the team without the ball tires because they’re doing all the chasing. The legs got heavy and when we got the ball we were giving it away too easily.”
The sheer volume of re-arranged fixtures that the team have to work through means that, with only three and a half weeks to go this season, Clyde still have seven games to play.
Duffy continued: “We haven’t had a chance to rest any players since I came in. We’re playing on a Saturday and then during the week, training on the Thursday, then playing again.
“That’s a huge amount to ask of part-time players. If it’s going your way most of the time, you get a bit of adrenaline that helps to carry you through. But when it isn’t, it’s a different story.
“This is a test for me as well as the players, how to approach the games when they are coming so quickly. Trying to find a way to change the team and keep things fresh.”
Tonight’s top versus bottom clash at Gayfield will be the third time this season that Duffy has pit his wits against Paul Sheerin, despite only taking over on February 6.
Duffy added: “Although they played well on Saturday we gifted them a couple of easy goals. We’ve been defending very well recently so that made it even more disappointing.
“We’ll need to defend better up there for a start. If we can do that then we’ll be in with a chance.
“We’ve got some players that are doubtful with injuries. Ross McMillan made a tremendous tackle on Saturday but it’s put extra pressure on the knee joint he’s been strapping up.
“McCluskey is struggling, he got a kick on his heel and Marc McCusker is still carrying a groin strain. So it’s not ideal going to the league leaders with important players out but that’s just what we have to deal with.”
Clyde have another long haul trip to Elgin on Saturday, but Duffy says he’ll cross that bridge when he comes to it.
“We’ve got to wait until the Arbroath game is over first before we can look to Saturday. We might have more injuries or players needing a rest so we’ll need everyone in the squad to play their part.”