Martin McNiff believes Clyde’s promotion bid is on target after first quarter

Martin McNiff on the ball during Saturday's defeat at Hampden (pic by Craig Black Photography)
Martin McNiff on the ball during Saturday's defeat at Hampden (pic by Craig Black Photography)

Clyde defender Martin McNiff reckons a haul of 18 points from the first quarter puts Clyde on course to achieve their promotion aim.

Although they are now six points off leaders Edinburgh City and four behind Peterhead, the 28-year-old defender believes the Bully Wee have laid solid foundations from their opening set of nine fixtures.

He said: “In terms of points that’s us got 18 points this quarter and if you can get that every quarter you’d be looking good.

“That would be 72 points and mostly that will win the league.

“As much as we might look back at the games that we have lost, which we might have got more out of, 18 points isn’t a bad position to be in, although we could be in a lot better position.

“There’s room for improvement in the games that we’ve lost and we’ll look at that.

“But the main thing is our home form. We’re disappointed to have lost one game at home and want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

However McNiff knows Clyde can’t afford too many more sluggish performances such as the one they produced in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Queen’s Park at Hampden.

He admitted: “In the first half it was very clear we were not at the races. We deserved to be going in 1-0 down and it could probably have been a couple more.

“We were very disappointed and, rightly so, the manager and assistant manager came in and said a few home truths we needed to hear.

“They pressed us really well. We were getting on the ball at times and in training we worked on what we did see were potential weaknesses.

“But they covered those weaknesses quite well against us, they weren’t making it easy for us to get into the pockets we wanted to get into.

“They were doubling up, pressing and did really well and, first half especially, we were just a few yards off it, everybody in the team.

“We can’t start like that in any game in this league, no matter who you’re playing because you’re always likely to end up on the back foot.

“In the second half we put in more effort and maybe with a wee bit more luck we could have got a goal.

“But I’ll give credit to Queen’s Park, they defended really well and threw bodies on the line and they deserved their clean sheet in a way, regrettable as that sounds.

“Away from we know we need to dig and get results and we’ve done that very well up until today.

“We’ve been to Berwick and Annan, two very hard places to go, and got maximum points which I think was deserved. We just need to make sure we know that side of it away from home.

“We can’t always play. At home we play really good football and teams sometimes can’t handle it, but away from home I think we need to be a bit more knowing how to play percentages and just play conditions as well.

“It’s always going to be difficult playing away, sometimes on a grass park sometimes astro-wise so it’s just about grinding away from home and picking those points up.”

The League 2 campaign now takes a back seat until October 27 - when Clyde face a potentially vital clash at home to promotion rivals Peterhead.