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Clyde In The Cumbernauld News - 24 April 2002

By Bob McPherson
Wed, 24th Apr 2002 12:00am

This week's 'View From The Stands' article in the Cumbernauld News strikes an optimistic note about Clyde - both on and off the park.

Clyde’s 3-1 win over St. Mirren in Cumbernauld last week means the Bully Wee can do no worse than occupy fifth place in the First Division table (for the second successive season) and, depending on results this Saturday in the final round of matches, could end up as high as third.

It’s been a strong finish from Clyde with only one defeat in the last nine matches and their current 49 points from 35 games is even better than last season’s pleasing 47 from 36 games.

The points-gathering run-in has produced a consensus amongst Bully Wee fans that new manager Alan Kernaghan has done a great job in difficult circumstances after the previous management team walked away from the club. It’s only a few weeks since Mr. Kernaghan was the more familiar Alan, just one of the players, but no-one around Broadwood is in any doubt that he’s the boss now. He’s already added John Potter from Dumfermline and Paul Kane from St. Johnstone to the team as he begins to re-shape the team in his own preferred style of play. More signings are expected.

Two top-five finishes confirm that Clyde have made a steady start to life in Scotland’s most competitive League and the Bully Wee faithful are already making optimistic noises about next season. Good news for Clyde is that both teams promoted from the Second Division are part-time but there is a qualification; one of them is the always-difficult-to-beat Alloa Athletic. The two unknown factors facing Clyde next season will be the extent to which relegated St. Johnstone will retain an SPL-standard squad in a bid to make an instant return ‘upstairs’ and the quality of team that Airdrieonians, with their continuing financial difficulties, will be able to field next year.

What is certain is that Clyde now have a squad of proven ability and they now have a manager whose insistence on playing an attractive passing game should please spectators. It remains to be seen whether the new boss also has the tactical ability to enable Clyde to finally exorcise the curse of Alloa Athletic!

Clyde optimism extends off the park too with the news that by last Saturday 224 people had already bought season tickets for next year - the equivalent of 50% of last year’s total - and there’s over three months before the 2002/03 season starts. It may seem a small amount by SPL standards but for everyone connected with Clyde it’s matter of great encouragement.