Montrose boss Stewart Petrie insists competition for places is pushing side on

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Stewart Petrie.

Montrose boss Stewart Petrie insists the players missing out on selection have been just as important as the lads winning the nod for his starting XI during his side’s recent good run of form.

The Gable Endies made it six games unbeaten last week with a 3-1 win on the road at Cowdenbeath with the Angus side currently sitting second top of League 2 just two points behind leaders Stirling.

Petrie is now looking for his side to make it a magnificent seven games without loss when they play Annan at Links Park this afternoon.

The manager said: “It was another good win for us last week.

“Central Park is always a tricky venue to go to but the boys put in a professional performance and I thought their attitude was post on.

“So I was delighted with the display and the result.

“We are now six games unbeaten which is probably the best run since I took over.

“The boys have responded magnificently since the two successive defeats against Stirling and Elgin back in September.

“You can see the team growing in confidence every week now and we also have a bit of continuity in terms of selection.

“But a huge amount of credit must go to the boys who are out of the side. They have ensured that the boys in the starting XI cannot rest on their laurels.

“They have kept the pressure on them and training is always really competitive and at a high tempo.”

One of the key messages that Petrie has been drumming into his players is the importance of discipline and avoiding cheap bookings – his side have only picked up three cautions in their last six games.

He added: “That continuity of selection has been helped by good discipline on the field which is something we have worked on.

“I picked up my fair share of bookings when I was a player but we have been hammering home the message that the lads cannot afford to pick up silly yellow cards for dissent or kicking the ball away.

“These are the sort of cautions that can come back to bite you in the last quarter of the season with suspensions.

“So we have worked hard on that with the lads knowing that if they are out of the team, then someone else is waiting to take their chance.
“We now have another tough game against Annan.

“We beat them at their place back in August but no-one rolls Annan over.

“They are a big, strong, physical side who are always well organised.

“However, we are playing at home and with confidence high, we will be going all out to take another three points before a break from league business next week for the Scottish Cup.”

Montrose will be without the injured Michael Bolochoweckyj, Danny Cavanagh and Ryan Ferguson.

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