ALLOA player-manager Jim Goodwin remains hopeful of clinching promotion to the Championship, despite his side trailing after their playoff final first leg clash with Brechin.

The Wasps gaffer admitted his players didn’t match the standards they have set this season, but insisted that there will be a marked improvement in time for tomorrow’s do-or-die second leg.

And he is adamant his charges will be determined to banish the disappointment of Wednesday’s disappointing loss.

Goodwin told Advertiser Sport: “We know we are still capable of winning the tie. There are no issues there at all. We’ll remain positive, and if we reach the standards we’re capable of we’ll be fine.

“But we have to do the basics better. Some of our decision making will have to be better. But I don’t want to go over the top. It’s only half-time, and we still have a great chance. We know we have to be better, and we will be.

“The players are an honest bunch and they know they didn’t reach the standards they are capable of. They are obviously disappointed and they will be keen to go again on Saturday.”

Goodwin admitted that Alloa were a touch fortunate to only be trailing by a single goal at the halfway mark in the tie, and cited similarities between Wednesday’s game and the first leg of their semi-final, which they also lost 1-0 to Airdrieonians.

He said: “It is bitterly disappointing. It’s very similar to last week in the respect that we didn’t play well enough and we didn’t compete.

“Brechin thoroughly deserved the win. The only positive we can really take is that it is only 1-0, because they have come close to scoring again when they have hit the crossbar.

“We didn’t work their keeper at all – I can’t remember him having a save to make.”

However, Alloa have made a habit of coming from behind this season, and Goodwin reckons home advantage could play a huge part in determining who takes their place in the second tier for next season.

He added: “We have been here before, and we know what we’re capable of at home. Our pitch will allow us to play the kind of football we want to play.

“The surface [at Brechin] wasn’t conducive to that and we had to change our gameplan a bit which maybe played into their hands. On our pitch it will be different.”