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Daily Record
Daily Record
Paul Thomson

East Kilbride boss admits job will be under threat if Lowland League losing run goes on

East Kilbride boss Kevin Rutkiewicz has warned they are in serious danger of letting their Lowland League title hopes disappear after a third straight defeat – and he admits his job is now on the line.

The 42-year-old has given a candid assessment of their predicament after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at University of Stirling left them six points off leaders Rangers B, and five adrift of second place Spartans.

Kilby were four points clear at the start of October but there has been a 10-point swing in the table following defeats to Cowdenbeath, Civil Service Strollers and Stirling. They haven't won in the league since a 2-1 victory away to Dalbeattie in September.

The pressure is now on the side to stem a run of four games without a league win tonight when they travel to Gretna 2008 and defiant Rutkiewicz knows it is imperative to turn results around fast.

He said: “It’s been tough week and a poor week – and that has to change.

“If this creeps on much longer we will find ourselves just too far behind.

“I sympathise with the fans and I totally understand any criticism that will be thrown my way at this point.

“But I still totally believe that I can do a job here and, more importantly, that the players can do a job here.

“There were going to be speed bumps along the road somewhere and we’ve definitely hit one, that’s for sure.”

Despite their recent run, Rutkiewicz insists he can handle the pressure.

He added: “I don’t feel any more pressure than I already put on myself. That pressure is always there when you join a club like East Kilbride and the league they are in, where they want to go and win it every year and be successful. That was the pressure when I joined this club so it is not alien to me.

“I don’t feel any more pressure now than when we were beat by Rangers B at the start of the season or we went and beat Celtic B.

“Obviously, there are nicer pressures than the one we are under at the minute, but that’s football and we need to find a way through.

“If we don’t, then I know there will be consequences in the future.

“We can’t keep losing games, that’s for sure.

“I’m totally aware of that and I’m quite pragmatic when it comes to that side of football.

“It’s the nature of the game these days. You just don’t get time to sort things out.

“It has cost people before me and it will cost people after me.

“So we have to galvanise ourselves and Wednesday night is just a huge game for us.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a season-defining game just yet – it is approaching that – but it is an opportunity to stop the rot and by the end of the week we could have a much brighter outlook. It’s just so vitally important we get a result at Gretna.”

Saturday brings the visit of Berwick Rangers, managed by ex-EK gaffer Stuart Malcolm who had his struggles at K-Park, and Rutkiewicz is hoping to go into that game on a high.

But he admits confidence is low and they have been impacted by the loss of key strikers Bob McHugh and Cami Elliott to injury.

Rutkiewicz added: “There’s a couple of boys suffering with confidence and that is a very natural reaction to having the period of results we’ve had.

East Kilbride's Cami Elliott in action against Cowdenbeath (Angus Fong)

“Teams have been without players all year and we’ve been without Bob McHugh and Cami Elliott for a large chunk now.

“But that is hurting us. I’m not going to lie. That said, I still think we’ve had the team to win games of football.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We need to puff our chests out and turn this week into a good week, where we are just looking at this as a mid-season blip at some point.

“Right now it is raw, it is sore and we want to rectify it.”

Follow Lanarkshire Live Sport on Twitter via @LanLiveSport, like us on Facebook or find us on Instagram for the latest sports news, pictures and video.

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