JAMIE McKim believes his Johnstone Burgh team’s hard work will pay off next season as he looks forward to a promotion push.

Burgh’s season is in danger of petering out as their stop-start 2019 continued with Saturday’s call-off of their Forth Wanderers clash.

It means the Keanie Park men have only played two league games since their win over Ashfield FC at the end of January and have fallen to 10th spot in the League Two table.

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But, despite recent struggles, McKim is convinced he and his backroom staff are putting the right preparations in place behind the scenes to bring the glory days back to Johnstone.

“My message has been clear since we started,” he told Gazette Sport. “We’ve got 20 squad numbers and it’s now up to the players to go and earn their place for next season.

“I’ve said from day one that, with the squad I built at the start, I genuinely believed we had a chance.

“We have had some bad luck with the players we have lost due to injuries and things like that.

“I do feel we have made progress and brought in seven or eight players who can stay in from next season and beyond.

“For me, it’s about trying to get the team back to the level we were at where we were beating Arthurlie and Neilston.

“Our target is to get out of this league. If you don’t want that, then you are in the wrong job.

“A lot of people will be frustrated by the way this season is going to finish and I understand that.

“When we get to the summer, we will reset and I have already spoken to a lot of players who I want to bring in and raise the bar again.

“A lot of clubs won’t have the access to facilities we have. The standards all around the club are rising and, if people could see what is going on behind closed doors, they would realise the potential of this club.”

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It’s been a difficult few months for the Burgh, who, as well as frequent postponements, have had to deal with the loss of several key players.

Captain Scott Robson, Ryan Officer and Dylan Blair are just some of the first team regulars who have departed Keanie Park this season, with McKim bemoaning their loss to his side.

He said: “It’s hard enough to bring in players of their quality but even harder to replace them when you lose them halfway through the season.

“The squad we built was really positive but the spine of the team has been ripped out.”

Meanwhile, McKim had no complaints as the Burgh’s clash on Saturday fell foul to the weather.

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He said: “The park was soft in places and wouldn’t have been playable.

“I had actually checked it on Friday night and was sure there was no chance that it would have gone ahead.

“It was looking better by Saturday morning but the right call was made.

“If it had been Sunday, the game would have been played.

“I am sure we will have no issues this weekend and we look forward to welcoming Forth Wanderers once again.”

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