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From The Other Side

Craig Anderson managed to track down utility man Martin Hardie ahead of his club St.Johnstone’s trip to Broadwood on Saturday…

Clyde v St.Johnstone (23/8/2007)

Martin Hardie may be out of Saturday’s Broadwood clash with Clyde – but has warned his team-mates not to expect an easy ride. The influential St.Johnstone midfielder was sent off following a clash with Dundee’s Gary McKenzie in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Dens Park, meaning he’s likely to miss the Saints’ match in Cumbernauld.

But the experienced 31-year-old knows all about playing Clyde in his years in the game and knows Owen Coyle’s side won’t get an easy shift. Hardie said: “I’ve seen Clyde go from having an experienced side under Allan Maitland, to having a younger squad, but you’re always guaranteed a competitive game and that, for me, has always been the case.

“I’ve always found that if you come away with anything from Broadwood then it has to be well-deserved and I think that says a lot about how tough Clyde can be. With Colin Hendry in charge, he’ll certainly pass on the sort of desire to win that helped Blackburn to the Premiership that year. If you can take his whole-hearted approach that he had to every game and add some skill and pace to that, then it’s possible he could mould his players into how he wants them to play.”

Hardie’s possible absence could give the Bully Wee a slight boost ahead of this weekend’s match, but both sides are still searching for that first league win of the season. However St Johnstone are still unbeaten after draws against Queen of the South, Stirling Albion and Dundee, while Clyde’s record so far reads played three, lost three.

But Hardie reckons Clyde are in a period of transition following the summer’s managerial change and believes Hendry will need time as he adjusts to life in Scottish First Division. He added: “A change in manager is always going to cause upheaval and I think it’s a hard job for Colin to come into as I don’t think he knew too much about the First Division players. It’s certainly going to be a hard season for him, but he has players in his squad who are young, but experienced that can help him get used to what this league is all about.”

Incidentally, Hardie was the match-winner when both sides last met back in April, as St Johnstone secured a slender 1-0 win at Broadwood that helped their SPL push at the time. Owen Coyle’s side beat the Bully Wee twice last season with wins both home and away, after a Clyde win at Broadwood and a McDiarmid Park draw altogether.

Interestingly enough, it will be both clubs’ 100th meeting in all competitions, with the Perth side claiming victory on 44 occasions, 39 wins for Clyde and 16 draws altogether.

The Bully Wee badly need a win as they sit marooned at the bottom of Division One and coming off the back of that heavy defeat at Partick Thistle last week, it would be most welcome. But whatever the outcome in this Saturday’s encounter, a win would give either club a massive boost as the league table starts to take shape.