Nov 14 2012 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Time has flown by for Albion Rovers manager Todd Lumsden.
Six months ago, he stepped up from the position of assistant manager at Cliftonhill to take the reins following Paul Martin’s decision to quit on health grounds.
Martin left Cliftonhill on a high with the club confirming their place in the Irn-Bru Second Division thanks to a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Stranraer in the play-off final.
He was not the only one to depart. Highly-rated keeper Derek Gaston could not resist the lure of full-time football and so joined First Division promotion hopefuls Morton.
Star striker John Gemmell decided to try his luck at Stenhousemuir. Robert Love went to Stranraer, Scott Chaplain headed for Annan Athletic.
Ryan McStay put pen to paper at Ayr United while fellow central midfielder Stevie Canning hung up his boots to concentrate on his family.
The job to be done was colossal. As well as managing a tight budget, Lumsden had to manage expectations from those who occupy the main stand every other Saturday and had perhaps become used to a level of success.
There is a long way to go but, to this point, it has been so far, so good.
“We knew it was going to be difficult especially after losing so many of last season’s squad so there was rebuilding needed,” he said.
“But we managed to keep a number of the players who have experience and know what it takes to stay in the Second Division.
“It was difficult to get players in at first. There is the financial aspect and some players maybe don’t fancy Albion Rovers even though we have been successful.
“But I think the players that have come in have acquitted themselves well. The team has certainly evolved since the opening day of the season.”
Rovers opened the campaign with five defeats on the trot without scoring.
In today’s football world, it wouldn’t have taken much more for the panic button to be pressed. But Lumsden kept calm, retaining faith in his new-look squad and his abilities as a rookie manager.
“We didn’t get good results but performances were OK and we just had to stick together,” he added. “We’ve managed to turn things around but consistency is key.
“We had doubters after the first three games but then after two wins everybody thinks everything is great again. I try not to get too down when we suffer a defeat and don’t get carried away with victories.”
Continuing improvement is what Lumsden is striving for. He is focused on what he wants to achieve and has belief in his squad.
“The players are better than they give themselves credit for,” the Northumbrian said. “We watched some of the first game against Morton in the Scottish Cup after training on Saturday.
“When we passed the ball and kept it, we managed to open them up. We’re trying to encourage them to do that more. That’s how we want to play the game.”