Forfar West End skipper Darren Scott believes the 3-0 defeat to Dundee North End in February was the watershed moment in the side’s journey to promotion.
Player-manager Daryl McKenzie gave the troops a serious dressing down after that loss to the East Region North Division champions and West End responded in sublime fashion, going on a magnificent 12-game winning streak that saw them join North End in earning promotion to the Premier League.
The striker, who scored 16 times last season, told the Dispatch: “We lost 3-0 to North End in February, a team we’ve done well against beating them pretty much every time until then. At the end of the game you can just imagine the atmosphere in the dressing room. The results and performances had been poor, we were coming off a very poor winter. While we were sat there we could hear them next door playing ‘We Are The Champions’ so that was the moment when it sank in that we weren’t going to win the league.
“At that point promotion seemed a mile off, but Daryl had some very strong words for the boys and to say we bounced back from there is an understatement. It was 12 wins on the spin from there to get promoted. If there was a turning point, I would say it was the dressing down we got after that West End game that made people realise A, it wasn’t good enough and B, there was no other alternative then except just going to go and win those 12 games.”
McKenzie has secured the entirety of last season’s squad on new deals for their forthcoming campaign in the Premier League and his captain says that his manager’s quick work gives the team an advantage over some of their opponents before a ball is even kicked.
Scott continued: “Last season there was a big turnaround in players around the middle of the year and that coincided with a big dip in our form. Once those boys settled in we all saw the run we went on. Daryl has identified the areas he needs to strengthen, he’s gone out early doors to get his targets. So we’ll be going into pre-season with our full squad where a lot of other teams will still be making changes. If you look back he did the same thing in his first season. The importance of having a strong squad ready, especially in this tougher league, cannot be underestimated.”