Jim Goodwin urged his Alloa players to maintain their consistency ahead of Saturday’s League One showdown with Stranraer.

The two sides will meet at the Indodrill Stadium level on points, with the visitors having won the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign.

Since that result, the Wasps have won six of their last eight games in all competitions and their manager challenged his stars to begin the festive period with a positive result.

Goodwin told Advertiser Sport: “Games against Stranraer are always difficult and they got a great result at the weekend. They have players who can really hurt you and they’ve got experience throughout the team. But if we play the way we are capable of playing we are always confident of getting results. On our day we can beat most teams.

“The run we have been on just shows you how tight and competitive the league is. We are one of the form teams in the league and have won five of our last seven in the league, yet teams like Arbroath and Stranraer are still right there with us. It goes to show the importance of the good run we’ve been on, and we want to keep it going and finish the quarter strongly with a win before Christmas.

“We had a kick up the backside after the first quarter and everyone, the staff included, realised that they could do more. We hadn’t been playing terribly but we weren’t clinical enough and made some mistakes at the back. Thankfully we have been able to eradicate those and we look a threat going forward.

“This league is about consistency and that’s why we’re in the position we’re in just now. But we have to make sure we take those standards into the second half of the season, and if we do that we’ll be right up there.”

Goodwin is desperate to strengthen his squad in January and hinted that he could dip into the loan market, with current stars PJ Crossan and Callum Crane both impressing on temporary deals from Celtic and Hibernian respectively.

He said: “The good thing about academy players is that they are desperate to play football. The development league is a decent enough grounding for 16 and 17-year-olds but after that players need to be playing first-team football, regardless of the level. There’s no experience like playing against senior players because you just don’t get the same edge.

“You can see the benefit to PJ and Callum, who are improving every week. There are some diamonds out there who could play at our level so we are trying to do the right deal.”

The Wasps are keen to strengthen all areas but Goodwin admitted that a defender was a priority, with Daryll Meggatt and Frank McKeown both currently out injured.

He added: “We are looking to strengthen everywhere. We are speaking to clubs and individuals every day, but we have got to be realistic with regard to the finances and targets available. Everyone is fighting for a very small crop of players.

“We are looking at defenders. Daryll has his fracture and Frank has a recurring calf problem. It’s an important part of the team and you need players in there. But we are looking at other positions as well and it all depends on whether it’s a good fit.”