Cumbernauld Colts boss Craig McKinlay on the season so far

Cumbernauld Colts co-managers Craig McKinlay (left) and James Orr.
Cumbernauld Colts co-managers Craig McKinlay (left) and James Orr.

Cumbernauld Colts co-manager Craig McKinlay is hoping to see his side break into the top four in the remaining months of the campaign.

Colts currently sit sixth in the Lowland League standings after what McKinlay feels has been a stop-start season so far.

He said: “It’s been a mixed bag. We started well in terms of results and then took a bit of a dip towards the back end of the year.

“Inconsistent sums it up. We’ve played really well in a lot of our games but the goals have dried up a little.

“But the last game we played [at Dalbeattie]was another good away win.

“We’ve had some good away victories at some tricky places which has been a big help and gives us some optimism for the second half of the season.

“We’ve found that we’ve not really had a consistent, established starting eleven. We’ve got a competitive squad but have felt we’ve had to change it, whether it be through injuries or inconsistency, performance or results.

“It’s got its good and bad side. All the lads are competing but you could do with establishing a settled team.

“But I don’t want to sound too downbeat about it. We are in sixth place and it’s pretty tight round about us. It’s within our hands to push for the higher places and we would still love to get into the top four.

“We’ve got enough games to do it and the squad to do it, so it’s up to ourselves.”

Regarding the Lowland League as a whole McKinlay believes the overall standard continues to improve with Kelty Hearts this season’s latest to the list of teams hoping to use the league as a stepping stone to the seniors.

In contrast East Stirlingshire, relegated from the seniors in 2016, have found regaining their status anything but straightforward and currently sit two places below Colts.

McKinlay said: “It’s probably as competitive as it’s ever been, there’s not a huge amount between the top sides.

“East Kilbride are on a really good run and seem to be getting a head of steam up. We played them a couple of weeks ago and they were really impressive.

“But if you look at the teams, everybody can beat each other and there are good players in all the teams.

“Kelty obviously came into the league and made it stronger and it continues to grow from strength to strength.

“Our league is such that the quality is there that it’s not easy to go straight back up and East Stirlingshire have certainly experienced that.”