Cumbernauld United boss Tony Fraser not worried by relegation favourites tag

New Cumbernauld United boss Tony Fraser says he’s not worried if his side are written off as relegation candidates.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 11:00 am
Paddy McCabe is one of the few players retained by Cumbernauld United from last season (pic: Sandra King)

With seven teams going down as the West of Scotland Premiership is cut from 20 to 16 – a legacy of relegation being scrapped when Covid struck last year – the pressure will be on

But that’s not to say he sees his side as automatic favourites for the drop. Far from it

He said: "The way the league is next season with seven teams going down, other than top teams like Auchinleck Talbot, Pollok, Darvel, maybe Kilwinning and Clydebank, everybody's aim will be to stay up before it goes back to a normal league the following season.

"It depends how teams approach it. They're either going to go in scared of going down in the seven or they're going to attack it - and that's how I'm planning to be.

"We've not even spoken to the players about seven going down, we're just going to try and finish as high as we can."

Fraser has had to oversee a massive recruitment drive since returning as manager in April to the club he captained to League Cup glory in 2014.

A handful of players remain, such as midfielders Klark Thomson and Tom Neil, defender Jordan Kennedy, forward Paddy McCabe and full-back Jack Harrison.

But the vast majority of his squad are new – with no-one likely to be more important than Danny Boyle, another former Cumbernauld player.

Since leaving in 2016 Boyle has played for Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, Auchinleck Talbot and Pollok – and Fraser has already installed him as the new club captain.

He said: “The first thing you need to do is make sure you're secure at the back. That’s why we went and got Danny Boyle. At this level in this league you need a centre-half who can defend your box from crosses.

"Danny's been one of the best in the West for a number of years now, he's got massive experience and we knew we were going to bring in a lot of youthful players who need that experience and guidance on the park to help them.”

United kick-off a seven-match pre-season friendly schedule tonight (Wednesday) at Sauchie, followed by games with Kennoway Star Hearts, Steins Thistle, Finnart, Vale of Leithen, Gartcairn and Vale of Clyde, ahead of the league kick-off at home to Rossvale on Saturday, July 17.