AS the start of the new league campaign looms, the Cumbernauld United squad is still in something of a transition phase.
Returning manager John Queen is working hard to grow his pool of players as he seeks to put his own stamp back on the team.
However, that has meant the Sectional League Cup games have been used as an extension of pre-season for the Guy’s Meadow club.
Completing their fixture card for the round robin section was a 1-0 home defeat against Dunipace on Saturday.
Boss Queen, however, says better things will come when the squad is fully assembled.
He said: “It wasn’t great on Saturday, we were struggling for players with injuries and holidays. But we’ll put it behind us and move on.
“We had a guy playing that used to play for Cumbernauld who was in the bookies and turned up to watch the game. That’s how badly we were struggling.
“One thing I would say though is that James Steele, in the middle of the park for us, was exceptional.
“But it’s all been really disjointed so far, we’ve had strikers playing at right-back and things like that, so I won’t take too much from our results so far.”
Jarvis, Gibson and Barclay have all been notable absentees recently through injury, while left-back Brown has undergone surgery on his damaged knee, ruling him out for at least the first half of the season.
The gap left by his absence looks to have been filled however, with the signing of Paul Hanlon from Petershill.
United’s first league tie is this Saturday against Hurlford United at Blair Park.
Queen added: “We’ll have big Marshall back from suspension for Saturday so that’s a boost. It’ll be tough but we’ll have a few more regulars back and we’ll see what happens from there.”