BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
JACK Ross insists his Alloa Athletic side should not be ’embarrassed’ by relegation after their fate was sealed by a goalless draw with Livingston.
The Wasps required a victory to keep themselves in with a shout of avoiding the drop – at least arithmetically.
However, they were finally condemned to life in League One next season after failing to register what would have been just their fourth win of a troubled campaign.
Ross, who took over as manager in December, has been unable to turn around fortunes but claims they should be satisfied with their efforts in trying to stave off relegation.
He said: “The main thing for me was that the players knew the potential outcome of today if they didn’t achieve three points and we stressed to them to show pride – and they did that in abundance.
“I don’t think we could have got any more out of them in terms of their effort levels and their performance level, because they played well in parts of the game.
“They’ve got nothing to be embarrassed about.
“Disappointed, frustrated, hurt, all these things, yes. But certainly not embarrassed.
“Certainly over the last two or three weeks, we’ve obviously started to realise with the way the results have gone that it (relegation) was probably inevitable.
“I certainly don’t think that’s been reflected in their performances.
“You feel for them, more than anything. My job is to try and get the best from them and hope they get the rewards for that.
“I just get frustrated from that side of things.”
Asked to sum up the emotions of seeing the club’s Championship status slip away, Ross was keen for his players to use their disappointment as a motivational tool in future seasons.
He added: “I don’t suppose it really sinks in properly until you come away from it, but for them they’ll be hugely disappointed.
“It’s the first time I’ve experienced it in my playing or coaching career and the message is they remember the feeling and don’t want to experience it again.
“If I’m part of things here, and the other players are, then hopefully we’re chasing a title next season and enjoying success – because this is the crappy side of the game.
“You’ve got to experience it sometimes and then it makes you enjoy the good times more when hopefully you get a chance to have them.”