JON ROBERTSON says last season’s agonising playoff final defeat is all the motivation the Alloa squad need to make sure they clinch promotion this season.

The Wasps lost out on penalties in a thrilling showpiece last May, but as this campaign enters its final stages Robertson believes his team-mates are motivated to go one better.

And the midfielder is determined to play his part as the Wee County side seek a return to the second tier.

He told Advertiser Sport: “That defeat against Brechin has spurred a lot of the boys on this season. It’s been tough for Brechin in the Championship this season and although we would have been in a similar position to them as the newly-promoted side, I think we would have challenged some of the teams in that division.

“We were by far and away the second-best team in the league last year. Livingston were rightful winners and are doing really well now, but I’d like to think if we had gone up in the playoffs and had that chance, we would be putting forward a bigger challenge than Brechin had.

“That’s not being disrespectful to Brechin at all, but I feel we would have been well-equipped to go and beat some of the teams in that league. We are motivated to go and make sure we get their this time.”

Wasps manager Jim Goodwin strengthened his squad in January with the addition of several new recruits, and Robertson believes strength in depth will prove crucial as injuries and suspensions begin to bite, along with a congested fixture list.

He said: “The gaffer has brought some boys in who have all added to the squad and played their part. It is a squad game and although it’s frustrating if you’re in and out of the team, the gaffer will have a plan for the games coming up.

"Your squad really starts to count when you’ve got midweek games and injuries and suspensions so it’s important to add players who will strengthen the squad.

“Over the course of a season, it does tend to show who has the most potent squads. The teams with the most strength in depth will generally challenge at the end of the season. It proves how vital a strong squad is.

“The manager was always going to need to make more signings in January and it had become competitive. That’s a good thing because it keeps you on your toes. It’s important to make sure you compete in training during the week and earn your place in the eighteen on Saturdays.

“The added competition will definitely be good for us come the end of the season. I do think we will be there or thereabouts, and then hopefully we will be able to go one better than last year.”

The midfielder admitted he has been frustrated after struggling to nail down a regular starting spot in recent weeks, but insisted he is determined to make the most of the chances that come his way.

And having impressed at right-back earlier in the campaign, the versatile former St Mirren man says he would be happy to play there again.

Robertson said: “It’s been a bit of a frustrating time for myself because I’ve been in and out of the team but you just have to try and pick yourself up and go again when called upon. You can’t really let yourself get frustrated.

“I felt a bit hard done by to be honest because I’d been part of a defensive unit which had been doing well and keeping clean sheets.

"To be part of that was big for my confidence, but the wind got taken out of me when I lost my place in the team. But I’ve been trying to keep positive, and when

"I’ve been called upon since then I think I’ve done alright. The gaffer will keep using the squad so it’s just about staying positive and making sure I perform when I’m in the team.

“Right-back isn’t an alien position for me, and to be honest it’s somewhere I enjoy playing. The team needed me to play there and it turned out to be really good for the team.

"We found a bit of consistency as a team in that spell. We were keeping clean sheets and went from third-bottom to third-top.

“That transformed our season because it was a rough start.”

After a disappointing defeat to Stranraer last time out, Robertson and his team-mates were determined to get back to winning ways against Airdrieonians and East Fife last week, only for both fixtures to fall victim to ‘the Beast from the East’.

However, the midfielder was determined to look at the positives, and reckons several of his side’s injured stars will have been thankful for the enforced layoff.

He added: “It’s meant we’ve had to sit and stew for a bit longer than we wanted to after the Stranraer game. It has been frustrating because we’ve not really been able to do much training.

"We had a makeshift session after the Airdrie game was postponed but it’s tough when you have to sit for a week and think about what went wrong rather than getting straight back into it with another game.

“We’ve had some funny issues over the past couple of weeks. We went up to Arbroath with virtually no bench at all, and we’ve had some injuries and suspensions. A few of the boys will have had the chance to get themselves ready. It will have been good for the lads who needed an extra couple of days to get rid of knocks.”

Robertson and his team-mates will travel to strugglers Queen’s Park on Saturday hopeful of securing another victory to bolster their promotion ambitions, but the former Cowdenbeath and Stenhousemuir star insisted that they will be taking nothing for granted against League One’s bottom side.

He said: “Queen’s Park are a team who have done quite well against us. They have given us some very tough games.

"They play with a lot of energy and on their day, when they are all at it, that can be quite tough to play against. But at Hampden, we know we are getting a nice big park to play on and that suits us."