Jamie McKim may already be looking ahead to next season after a disappointing first full campaign in charge but that hasn’t stopped the Johnstone Burgh boss demanding his side finish on a high.

Burgh narrowly lost out 2-1 to runaway league leaders Lanark on Saturday but a much-improved performance after last week’s unacceptable 5-0 loss against Vale of Leven pleased McKim.

McKim’s side now have three games remaining with the gaffer urging his side to maintain that level ahead of an overhaul this summer.

He said: “Don’t get me wrong, we want to win every match but the performance from Saturday’s match against Lanark was a big positive for us.

“We actually played really well against a good team despite conceding the two goals and losing eventually.

“The boys really challenged Lanark and forced them to play better than they have done for most of the season.

“We changed to a 3-5-2 to outnumber them and it worked really well in the first-half. Our target was to ensure we were right in the match at the break and we did that going in 1-0 up.

The Gazette: McKim remains upbeat despite Lanark loss as he looks ahead to next season (Photo: Kenneth McWilliam)McKim remains upbeat despite Lanark loss as he looks ahead to next season (Photo: Kenneth McWilliam)

“We tried to build on that in the second-half but they have some real quality players and had two moments of real quality to take the lead. 

“That was night and day compared to the Vale of Leven result and performance last week, though. I’m always looking for a reaction or improvement. You never want to lose any match but if you are going to lose then it can’t be in a bad manner like last week - you need to put up a fight and give everything and we did that against Lanark so I’m proud of their efforts.Of course that doesn’t mean I’m happy with the defeat but proud of their attitude throughout.

“It’s important to take that kind of attitude into the last three games now. We’ll have more trialists coming in with a view to next season. There will be a lot of new faces here in the next couple of weeks now so it would be nice if they could manage to put some more points on the board.

“There will be a lot changes in terms of the squad at the end of the season. We want to finish this season on as much of a high as possible and ensure the guys who are staying have a good feeling going into pre-season.”

Elsewhere, Burgh are lending their support to fellow West Region League Two side Ardeer Thistle this weekend with a friendly match taking place at Keanie Park to raise much-needed funds after the Thistle’s hospitality suite was destroyed in a fire.

McKim added: “Ricky Cantwell told me about the vandalism down in Ardeer. He asked my thoughts on helping them out with a fundraiser which I thought was a brilliant idea. I think everyone in the junior game needs to stick together when things like that happen - I’d like to think if it happened to us then other teams would rally around and help us.

READ MORE: Jamie McKim asks for patience after latest setback

“On the football side of things, I wanted a game to keep the boys sharp. I didn’t want to go 10 days without a game before playing St Anthony’s. It’s a good chance to bring in some new players and a good chance for the fans to see some of the new boys we’re looking at for next season.”