JOHNSTONE BURGH co-manager Colin Smith insists the Keanie Park side can still beat the drop despite a miserable run of form.

Burgh are rooted to the bottom of the Central District First Division, seven points from safety having played more games than their relegation rivals.

Smith is under no illusions as to the size of the task his side now face when the league resumes on January 7, having not won a game since the opening day, admitting he would take a relegation play-off spot just now if it meant safety.

But he says he retains belief Burgh can drag themselves out of trouble and looks to Vale of Clyde, who seemed doomed last season before going on a run which retained their league status, for inspiration.

He said: “We’ve got to believe, We’re halfway through the season just now. If you looks at where Vale of Clyde were last season at this time you would have said they were gone and they managed to turn it around.

“We’ll be looking to do that. If we admit relegation now we’d be as well giving up.

“We’re going to keep going and see if we can get some points.

“There’s a long way to go but anything that keeps us in this league I would take. We don’t want to go back down to the second division.”

Saturday’s trip to Benburb’s New Tinto Park was another painful afternoon for Smith and fellow co-manager Davie Brolly.

It was goalless at half time before Burgh collapsed in the second period as Benburb ran out 4-0 winners.

Smith admitted it will be difficult to keep up the confidence of his side, and added: “The first half we were ok. We competed well and created a couple of chances and went in 0-0 at half-time.

“We lost a goal after three minutes of the second half and the heads went down. We have to try to keep their heads up.”