Forfar’s Dick Campbell: Loons will bounce back and resume title bid

The curse of the Manager of the Month award struck Forfar Athletic’s Dick Campbell as his Loons side fell to strugglers Cowdenbeath on Saturday, but the experienced boss is expecting his side to bounce straight back.

Speaking to Ladbrokes News, he told of how the performance at Central Park wasn’t up to standards, and that an instant response was his aim.

“I wasn’t happy with Saturday. When you are playing as a top of the league club against a bottom of the league side you have got to be careful of the wounded, as it were,” he told us.

“I thought for the first half an hour we were well on top, but we lost a sloppy goal and never got back into the game. I was angry with that, and my players know when I am angry.

“But hey, you’ve got to use these players again next week. We’ve always been fantastic at coming back from a bad result.”

That next test will come from another team languishing near the bottom of Ladbrokes League 1 in the form of Stranraer.

The Blues have picked up just six points this campaign, scoring three goals in their last seven games, and could be seen as an easy target, but Campbell isn’t interested in his next opponents’ struggles.

“The way I look at it I’ve only got an influence on what Forfar do, I can’t do anything about what Stranraer do. My players are focused on one thing and that is trying to get three points.

“I hope they are hurting as much as I’m hurting [after Cowdenbeath].”

None of Forfar’s players have netted more than three goals in the league this team, but with nine different Loons getting their name on the scoresheet, it is clear the Station Park side have a good spread of goals in them.

Just once this season has one starting XI been the same as the last in the league, and the constant necessity to tinker with his forward options looks to have left Campbell frustrated.

“I’m not happy that I’ve still not got it right yet. We’ve got a game tomorrow night against Arbroath [in the Forfarshire Cup] and I’ll try something else again,” he explained.

“However, I suppose to be up there in the top three and still not be decided on my strongest team, it’s something to be happy about.”

Currently occupying third place in the table, Athletic look on course to at least match the exploits that saw them go so close to promotion last season.

They missed out at the death that time round, but the Loons boss is aiming higher this term, refusing to rule out a title bid, for which they are 9/1 shots.

“That’s what we are in the game for. We are in this sport of football to win championships, that’s what I’ve tried to do all my life.”

“We were extremely disappointed last year to even be in the play-offs last season, let alone get beat in them.

“But I think I have a better team this year and have signed better players, so I was really delighted with how the first month of the season went.”

September may not have gone quite so well, with two defeats from three games, but with their boss promising a turnaround, it would take a brave man to write off Forfar Athletic just yet.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.