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Higgins Feeling Sharp

Fri, 23rd Sep 2016 3:35pm

With 15 goals already, The Bully Wee are the fifth highest scorers in Scotland this season and one of the main men behind that potent start to the campaign spoke to the official website today.

Sean Higgins knew he faced a challenge to establish himself in Barry Ferguson's starting 11 after missing the first game of the season through suspension, but since making his return to the team he has risen to the challenge with four goals in four league starts. 

The 31-year-old boasts one of the most prolific records in Scotland in the opening stages of this campaign but the in-form striker admitted that he is just pleased he has been given the nod to start in recent weeks:-

"I missed the first game of the season and when you don't start the first game you start to wonder what is going to happen. You just have to bide your time. I did that and came on against Stirling and scored with my first touch and my performances since then have been quite consistent. 

"I just need to work hard to keep myself in the team, whether it is up front or dropping back in the hole."

Higgins believes a change in his off-field circumstances have contributed to his positive start to the season. The former Dundee and Ross County man recently graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Sports Coaching and he explained: "I feel a lot fitter this year than I did last year. 

"Last year was the final year of my degree so I wasn't able to do the extra training, by myself, that I like to do. Before I came to Clyde, when I was at part-time clubs, I liked to do extra training by myself but I wasn't able to do that as much as I wanted last season and I found it difficult juggling family, the final year of my degree and football. 

"I felt that affected my game last season and during the summer I promised myself that that wouldn't happen again. Now I am doing some coaching and I am able to do some extra training, I'm feeling sharper and that is the most important thing in my game. 

"I kept myself ticking over well during the summer break and then the pre-season trip to Jersey was massive for us and is a major reason behind the good start that we've had. It's great for a club in League 2 to get away for a few days so credit needs to go to everyone involved at the club for that."

The attacker has also been playing in a slightly more advanced role this season - as part of a front two with long-term friend Peter MacDonald - a role that Higgins is relishing. He continued: "I played a bit deeper last season but in the last few games I've been playing as a two up front and thankfully me and Peaso have both taken chances that have come our way - long may that continue!

"I really enjoy playing as a two – it means I can come in and link and I will also run in behind too," said the striker, before adding with a wry smile: "But I'm 32 next month so I can't run in behind all game! 

"Playing as a two, if one of us can come short and the other one runs in behind then it can work well. Peaso is obviously an experienced player who has scored a lot of goals. I've known him for 15 years as a pal and we've struck up a good partnership which is important, as there is a lot of competition. 

"I enjoy playing in a two up-front but if I need to drop a wee bit deeper then I'll do that. Obviously losing Dylan Easton was a big loss so if I need to play a bit deeper then I will do and obviously we've got David Gormley and Jamie Watson who can come in as well so there is real competition there. We need to take the chances when we can."

Despite Higgins and strike partner MacDonald netting an impressive nine goals between them already this season, he was keen to highlight the importance of the midfielders playing behind them; particularly captain Scott McLaughlin. 

"I think Scott in the holding midfield role has been so consistent since the start of the season," he said. 

"Obviously with big Marko leaving Scott took on the captaincy and he has held everything together and let the boys in front of him play. He is doing the kind of role that a lot of people don't notice – sweeping across the midfield, covering the back four and also when he gets the ball he keeps it. 

"Also Easton, before his injury, was on fire - there's no doubting how much of a talent he is. Then Scotty Linton has been his consistent self, Matty Flynn has come into the side and done well then you've got Ewan (McNeil) who has come in and played midfield, right back and also played centre half for us. All the boys can play different positions and that is certainly healthy for the team."

Despite the encouraging results in recent weeks, Higgins knows he and his teammates face a difficult challenge on Saturday when they face a Forfar Athletic side who have won all six of their league games so far this season:-

"I was saying to the boys before the Arbroath game that if we could get nine points from the next three games – against Arbroath, Elgin and Forfar – then that would be a real statement from us. 

"Obviously getting three points this Saturday will be easier said than done. They are flying, six games played and they've won all six, so it will be a big challenge but we are looking forward to it.

"I think a lot of the teams, including ourselves, strengthened over the summer. Forfar obviously came down but they strengthened by keeping boys from last year and signing some good players like Lewis Milne from Cowdenbeath who has started off really well and they have Jimmy Lister up front who is a good player, so I expected them to be up there challenging come the end of the season.

"They have got off to a good start and pulled away but hopefully we will pull some points back this weekend."

Pictures by James Turnbull