Johnstone Burgh boss Jamie McKim has hailed the January signings of Jonny Rawlings and Derek McGrory as exactly what his side have been missing this season.

With eight games remaining, Burgh sit 10 points off third spot and while they have been free-scoring throughout the season, McKim was determined to shore up a fragile back-line which lacked vital experience.

Centre-back Rawlings,27, joins for the remainder of the season after impressing McKim during a number of training sessions while McGrory, 28, will slot into midfield after playing against Burgh twice this season for Muirkirk and St Anthony's, respectively.

The Burgh gaffer has been working away behind the scenes to bolster his young squad and believes he's solved the defensive problems.

He said: "I've been looking to bring in some experience for a while now. Derek and Jonny were both on trial and have been training with us - they're exactly what we need.

The Gazette: McGrory, left, and Rawlings brought in to shore up inexperienced Burgh defenceMcGrory, left, and Rawlings brought in to shore up inexperienced Burgh defence

"Derek has played against us twice this year now. I actually played with him a few years ago so I've known him for a long time. He's a big, strong player who will bring in so much experience having played in this league before. 

"He was fantastic for us against Ashfield at the weekend. He brings so much strength in the air and the middle of the park - that's what we've been lacking. He's a left-sided midfielder with a great set-piece delivery but he'll also help shore our defence right up.

"Jonny played at centre-half on Saturday against Ashfield and strolled it. Believe it or not that, was the first time I’ve actually seen him in a match. I’ve watched him training and he done enough to persuade me to give him a chance and put him straight in. He was brilliant. He looks like the leader we’ve been missing. He was aggressive in the tackle, aggressive in the air and communicating and organising the young back-line.

"I’m delighted to have them both in."