Clyde’s John Rankin says players determined to keep up promotion fight

Clyde midfielder John Rankin competes with Darryl McHardy during Saturday's match at Elgin. (pic by Robert W Crombie)
Clyde midfielder John Rankin competes with Darryl McHardy during Saturday's match at Elgin. (pic by Robert W Crombie)

Clyde veteran John Rankin admitted that the club’s points deduction penalty made last Saturday one of the hardest of his career.

The Bully Wee’s shellshocked players were forced to make the long journey to Elgin on the back hearing how their title challenge had been dealt a hammer blow by the SPFL.

The club knew of the four-point punishment - for fielding an ineligible Declan Fitzpatrick - on Friday night.

But boss Danny Lennon asked them to delay putting the news out until he could speak to the players in person on Saturday morning before they headed north.

Given the circumstances it may not have been surprising to see Clyde suffer their first defeat - at least their first on the pitch - since the end of October.

But while the title looks out of reach, Clyde are still well placed to be in the play-offs.

And Rankin, who harboured hopes of crowning his career by helping his local club to a title, says the players now have to put the issue behind them as quickly as possible.

He said after Saturday’s match: “It’s probably been one of the toughest days of my career.

“It’s difficult but we need to get on with it.

“Of course we’re disappointed but we can’t dwell on it. There’s a fight to be had and we need to stand up and be a part of that fight.

“Hopefully we can. We’ve got big characters in the dressing room. The chips are down just now but they won’t be down for long.”

Rankin also praised the Bully Wee support for putting their own disappointment aside to get right behind the team at Elgin.

He said: “The fans were great today. We didn’t know how it would come across with them getting the bad news this morning.

“Players come and go but fans are here for ever and it will hit them harder than it will hit us.

“But we’re the ones on the pitch, we’re the ones with a responsibility and we need to give them that belief and that feeling of glory back.

“Hopefully we can do that in the up and coming weeks and with the group that’s in there we’re certainly determined to do so.”