Wednesday 25th September 2019

THINGS were a bit uncertain for Ruaridh Langan when he walked into Forthbank Stadium in Stirling during the close season.

Not only did he not have a club, he hadn’t played first-team football for almost a year. Reserve team football had kept him in shape since January, but it was the main arena he wanted to be in.

What he did that day at Forthbank would determine his chances of doing so. Fortunately, his former manager at Morton was watching.

And now, working with Jim Duffy again at Dumbarton, the midfielder hasn’t looked back.

The C&G Systems Stadium was the scene of, prior to this season, Ruaridh’s last first-team game. He was in the Morton team that lost 2-1 to Sons on Tuesday, August 14 2018.

He has, though, made himself a fixture in the team of late, during its positive run.

He won the penalty at East Fife that gave Sons their second goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw, and he scored the goal at Peterhead that arguably started the sequence.

Speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, Ruaridh said: “I left Morton in January as I wasn’t playing much football. I picked up a niggling injury and as a result I didn’t play much when I was on loan at Annan Athletic.

“I played for Falkirk reserves after I left Morton, as I knew the manager [Ray McKinnon] from just before he left Morton. That gave me game time which I was needing.

“I did well there and it got me enjoying my football again, and after the exit trial match, that was when I signed for Dumbarton.

“The best thing I can say about the manager is that he’s honest with you. He’s not beating around the bush and that’s how I prefer it.

“If you do something wrong, you get told, instead of people being squeaky and ignoring it. It’s perfect to work under him again as I enjoyed it at Morton under him.

“Craig McPherson’s training is brilliant as well. They work well with each other and the way we’ve played, we feel we could go into any game confident.

“All I was looking for was to get a chance of first-team football, which I got at Peterhead. I got it in the Morton game as well which wasn’t great, but I feel I’ve taken my chance now.”

The success of the team always helps any new recruit to settle in, and with 10 points gained out of the last 15, Ruaridh can certainly tick that box.

That spell of picking up points began with a goal at Peterhead which reduced the deficit to 2-1. What happened next was seismic on the day, and the positive effect has lasted.

Ruaridh continued: “I’ve honestly loved it since I’ve come here. I’ve been getting the chance to play games and it’s one of the funniest dressing rooms I’ve been in.

“I knew it was going to take a couple of weeks for the team to gel, but we’ve got a good run together that’s given us all more confidence.

“We’ve shown we are a difficult team to beat, and we’ve been creating enough chances – it’s just a question of taking them.

“I simply wanted to be playing games, and to get my first professional goal as well was very pleasing. When it went in we were still behind, so you’re unsure whether to celebrate, but even up to then we’d been playing well against Peterhead.

“We’d been playing the better football but a couple of errors cost us goals. It was important to get the goal just before half time as we did.

“Then we absolutely battered Stranraer in the second half, and then did well at Montrose to get another victory.

“Against Airdrie we played well and created enough chances to win a few games. Sometimes it just doesn’t go for you.”

The latest point to be added to the total came at New Bayview on Saturday, against East Fife. Although it was in a strong position to be three points, Sons could not come away too disappointed.

Any frustration is aimed to be taken out on Clyde, who are visitors to the C&G Systems Stadium on Saturday in the first instalment of a home double header. The second is against Forfar Athletic next Saturday.

Ruaridh added: “Before the game we’d have taken a point, but being 2-0 up and conceding two goals to draw, we were a bit gutted.

“Even after it went 2-2, we had a couple of chances to still win the game. We also defended pretty well for most of it, give or take one or two instances.

“Over the course of it we were pretty solid at the back. East Fife are the league leaders and unbeaten, and some of the football they played was good, so to come away with a point is still a good result.

“We’ve got a couple of home games now which will give us more of an idea of how the league is shaping up. We’re only seven games in and at this stage it’s just about getting points.

“We go into every game looking to win and I don’t see why it would be any different for the next two. Hopefully we can keep our run going.”

Andy Galloway

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