NEW Cumnock boss Peter Leonard isn’t putting any unnecessary pressure on his players ahead of their crunch tie with Girvan this weekend.

Leonard inherited a squad that was bottom of the league and is aiming to guide them to safety but he hasn’t set any unrealistic targets for the season ahead.

The former Girvan gaffer was pleased with his side’s performance last weekend as they saw off Ayrshire District League outfit Craigmark Burntonians 5-0 at Station Park in the Junior Cup second round.

The ‘Nock manager felt that a friendly against Lugar helped his players get the perfect preparation for the game. Leonard told the Chronicle: “In the bounce game against Lugar on Thursday night we managed to score a few goals and that gave the boys a bit of confidence.

“I thought the players played really well on Saturday and we still had three players out. It was especially good to keep a clean sheet.

“I have no targets for this season. We are still finding our feet at the moment. We would like to do well in the Scottish but it depends on the cup draws.

“The big thing now is the league and the game against Girvan. We need to get out of the position we are in.

“If we can go on a wee run and get a few results then we can start moving up the table. The attitude in training has been first class and the effort the boys have shown has been excellent.

“I have nothing at this moment in terms of signings. We are still looking at the squad and assessing everything.”

Leonard will make an early homecoming on Saturday when Cumnock take on Girvan at Hamilton Park in a crucial match at the bottom of the Super League Premier Division.

Cumnock sit three points behind Saturday’s opponents and Leonard is looking forward to the game. He said: “My time at Girvan was very enjoyable and we were very successful. They have wished me well but obviously they will be looking to put one over me and I am looking to put one over on them.”

The Craigmark win came off the back of one of the toughest starts in junior football as ‘Nock fell 3-2 to Auchinleck Talbot the previous week in the new manager’s first game in charge.

Leonard said of his first few weeks in the job: “It was a hard start missing so many players for the first game against Auchinleck. However, I thought it was a decent performance and we were unlucky.”

Despite the tough start, Leonard always knew it would be the right thing to jump ship when the opportunity to take over at Cumnock came up.

He said: “When I looked at Cumnock and the players they have got, it’s a big club. Cumnock has the potential to be one of the biggest clubs in junior football.

“I would never have forgiven myself if I hadn’t taken the opportunity. I have always been at clubs like Girvan and Maybole in the lower leagues.

“There are some excellent players here with good qualities and I have enjoyed working with them.”