by Gillian McPherson

Clydebank boss Kieran McAnespie admitted the club’s return to the top flight has been way below par as his side heads into the New Year with just one win in the league.

The Bankies secured promotion to the Super Premier Division in May after six consecutive victories, but have lost six out of nine league games so far this season and currently sit second from bottom in the table.

But while the league results have been disappointing, McAnespie insisted they do not necessarily reflect the team’s performances.

He said: “It [the season] was probably sitting way below average but the cup final win brought it up to average. Performance-wise it’s been decent, results-wise horrific for us.

“We’ve played nine games now and got five points, which is nowhere near what I expected where I thought it would be. When you look at the teams we’ve played against and the opportunities we had to beat them but didn’t take them.

“For me it’s been way below average, just what I expect from myself, from the educational side of the game the guys are definitely learning and it’s about being able to implement what they’re learning and trusting that.”

The silver lining this season, however, has been their trophy success at the start of November, as Bankies secured a 2-0 win over Pollok to lift the Sectional League Cup.

Lok were heavy favourites going into the final after building a strong squad in the summer and thumping Bankies 4-0 the previous month, but a first-half own goal and Josh Watt strike sealed the win.

The trophy was the club’s first piece of silverware since the 2013/14 season and McAnespie’s first since taking over the reigns from long-serving manager Budgie McGhie in January 2017.

McAnespie said: “I’m obviously delighted, even to get there was a big thing for us in the first season.

“Even the promotion was way ahead of schedule within the timescale we did it.

"Although Marco [Marc McCulloch, assistant manager] believed we could, we didn’t think we would win it.

“You’ve got to keep believing and stick to what you know and hopefully if that happens you get your rewards.”