Published: 14/02/2013 02:00 - Updated: 14/02/2013 10:58

'We'll leave title talk to others' - Fridge

NAIRN County boss Les Fridge insists no-one at the club is getting caught up in title talk - despite their thrilling 3-2 win over Highland League leaders Wick Academy on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's mouth-watering home derby with Clach, Fridge feels this is one of the best campaigns ever, but insists there's too much work to be done after playing just 15 of their 34-game season.

He said: "We're not even halfway throughout our campaign (because of several postponed games during the winter), so there's a huge amount of football still to be played.

"Saturday's win was an important one for us because it was against the team at the top of the table. It was a really good game, but no-one here is getting carried away or talking about titles because it's far too early for that.

"I think the league has been improving every year, but this season it's become better than ever.

"I mean that in terms of not only is it really competitive, but in terms of the money spent by clubs and the quality of players coming into the division, some from the SPL, it makes it the best yet."

Nairn twice had to come from behind to clinch an absolute Station Park thriller against Wick at the weekend.

Lukasz Geruezel put the visitors in front before Conor Gethins shot Nairn level with a cracking strike.

Wick edged back ahead through Stevie Cunningham but Martin MacDonald restored parity once more in the second half. With the end-to-end contest heading for a draw, Gethins netted his 29th goal of the campaign to seal a thrilling win to put Nairn 10 points behind Wick, but with five games in hand.

As Nairn play catch-up, they will be often playing twice per week and Fridge admits his in-form pool have been warned that they have to be ready, but insists they are ready.

He said: "We've not got a big squad here with something like 19 players, so it's not even as if we can rotate it. I have said to the players that the opportunities will be there as work commitments take hold and everyone knows they have to come in and take their chance."

Looking ahead to the visit of Clach, just 10 days after the fixture in Grant Street was snowed off, Fridge has praised his opposite number as they sit one place above Nairn going into this derby.

He explained: "Iain Polworth has done a really good job there, but I am not surprised to see them up there. They no longer have a particularly young squad and in some ways my only surprise is that they have not been up there sooner. It's a game we're both desperate to win."

* Nairn host Strathspey Thistle next Wednesday in a rescheduled HFL fixture. Kick-off is at 8pm.

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