Michael Travis was over the moon with Forfar Athletic’s deserved 3-2 win over derby rivals Brechin City on Saturday at Glebe Park.
Goals from Derek Young, Chris Templeman and Darren Dods earned the visitors a victory that means it’s a clean sweep for the Loons against their three rivals for the League One title following consecutive Saturday wins over Greenock Morton, Stranraer and now City.
But the 21-year-old defender admitted Forfar need to repeat the level of those performances against the teams at the other end of the table, something they have sometimes struggled to do this season.
Travis said: “First and foremost we’ve got to get the win and keep going. We’re aiming for the title and that’s all we can do. We take each game as it comes as the gaffer says, the next game is the most important one.
“But this was the derby and obviously we got the bragging rights, so it’s a good win.
“We need to turn up against the smaller teams. We’ve got Stirling Albion next week and they’re down at the bottom of the league.
Hopefully we keep this going and win the league for the fans.Michael Travis
“We’ve generally been able to really turn up against the teams at the top of the league, but the teams at the other end haven’t been the same. But the gaffer will have us all drilled through the week.”
Travis will miss that game with bottom club Stirling - who enjoyed their first home win of the season last weekend against Peterhead - after an accumulation of yellow cards.
It’s a frustrating turn of events for the young lad who has been one of the team’s outstanding performers ever since his arrival at Station Park at the turn of the year.
His absence will be sorely missed, moreso given Stuart Malcolm’s own suspension, but Michael Dunlop looks well poised to step into his place.
The ex-Arbroath defender said he’s loving his football at the moment, stating that the level of experience in that area of the park is giving him a great education.
Michael continued: “It’s good having the older guys in the team, especially for myself only being 21, there’s a lot of experience and they’re handing it down to the boys. You just keep learning from them. There’s Dods, Malcolm, big Rab at the back, they all keep talking.
“I’ve always played centre half and I’ve always been told through my career that I’m not a centre half because I’m not big enough. But that’s my position and I enjoy playing centre half. I do enjoy heading the ball and things.
“I just hope I can keep my place, I’m suspended next week but I’ll come back in hopefully. It’s frustrating to miss next week’s game, especially so late in the season. Hopefully the boys do well next week and get the three points.
“I’m enjoying my football. The smile’s back on my face. Especially with the start of the season at Arbroath, I wasn’t playing as many games as I’d like. Then I’ve come here and got the smile back on my face, I’m enjoying myself again and that’s what it’s all about.
“A new manager came in at Arbroath and he obviously didn’t fancy me. I didn’t want to sit about, especially knowing that I played every game for them last year in this division.”
With six games to go, Forfar are right in the title race and Travis said the players are full of belief that they can go on and lift the trophy come May.
And while the youngster admitted the Loons will enjoy not having to face their fellow championship chasers in the final run-in, Travis said the boys know how hard a task it will be to finish top of the pile.
He continued: “There’s a lot of belief in the dressing room. We’re in a really good place at the moment. This is what I signed for, to try and go for the title. The guys are all playing for each other and you can see the team spirit out there again.
“It’s going to be hard to win the league, it’s always hard when you’re at this stage of the season. But we don’t play Stranraer, Morton, Brechin now. Hopefully we keep this going and win the league for the fans.”