Clyde boss Ferguson adds to squad ahead of Berwick clash

Barry Ferguson's Clyde are still chasing their first  win of 2016

Barry Ferguson's Clyde are still chasing their first win of 2016

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Clyde go into Saturday’s ‘must win’ encounter with Berwick Rangers boosted by the news that all their transfer window signings will be available for selection.

Earlier this week the club was faced with a potential ban on fielding the players after it admitted inadvertently breaching regulations by missing a £3,320 payment to HMRC in November.

That meant they were unable to field players signed after that date, rendering ineligible the likes of former Albion Rovers striker John Gemmell, ex-Livingston midfielder Ross Millen, former Annan Athletic forward Jamie Watson and on-loan Hamilton Accies defender Scott McMann.

However after being assured that Clyde were fully up do date with their HMRC liabilities the SPFL decided at a meeting on Wednesday to cleared the club to play the players from immediate effect.

The ruling will be a welcome boost to Bully Wee boss Barry Ferguson at the end of nightmare week for the club.

And he immediately took full advantage by adding three new players to his squad.

Partick Thistle ’keeper Marc Waters has joined on a one-month emergency loan deal following first chopice custodian following John Gibson’s red card at Elgin last weekend.

And another two players - winger Paul Slane and midfielder Reece Glackin - have returned to the club, signing on amateur terms, initially until the end of the season.

Former Motherwell, Celtic and Ayr United player Slane (24) had a short spell with The Bully Wee last year, while Glackin (19) was part of Clyde’s youth academy set up during his school years.

Boss Ferguson told the club website: “Marc is a ’keeper that I’ve heard good things about and with John suspended, we were keen to bring him in. It’s probably a little bit too early for Mark (McMillan) to take on the responsibility of starting matches at the moment.

“Paul is someone who I’m sure everyone will agree has plenty of ability. I was sad about how his last spell at Clyde ended - he had some personal issues to face - because I really like him. I’m always willing to give someone a second chance and he’s came back into our training environment and looked like a different man and done really well.

“He’s got a bit to go yet in terms of fitness, but we’re giving him the chance to challenge for a place and bolster the squad at the same time.

“Reece is a young player who I know well from watching Airdrie’s under-20 side. He’s a central midfielder who is neat and tidy on the ball and he’s a good passer of the ball as well.

“He decided that he wanted to move on from Airdrie so we moved quickly to get him in and give him the chance to earn a longer contract.”

The additions to the squad, and new that Ferguson can field his other recent acquisitions, have boosted the club after a nightmnare week which began with midfield star Scott Ferguson being ruled out for the season by injury.

Clyde then had two players red carded against leaders Elgin as the pre-season title favourites suffered their fourth defeat on the trot and slumped to seventh place in the League 2 table, 13 points off the pace.

Then came news of the HMRC blunder - which Ferguson and his players can now try to put behind them as they seek to finally get their first win of 2016 against Berwick at Broadwood on Saturday.

And despite the trials and tribulations of the past few weeks the Clyde boss is taking heart from the team spirit being shown by his players.

On last Saturday’s defeat he said: “We were bitterly disappointed to lose the game, but I couldn’t fault the commitment of the players.

“After conceding a penalty in the fourth minute, we put that behind us and I thought it was an even first half.

“Early in the second half, they went down to 10 men; we had only five minutes with the extra man before we lost Scott Durie but I thought that’s when we really showed our character.

“When we then lost John Gibson to a red card, I thought we actually stepped up the pressure and their keeper had an inspired second half.

“We also started with a depleted squad but I think we proved that our attitude and spirit cannot be questioned.

“We now need to prepare for Berwick Rangers, who had a good result against Annan, but if we show the same spirit that we did at Elgin, and the fans get right behind us, then we can get the win we badly need to get back on track.”