Stirling Albion manager Stuart McLaren says his side shot themselves in the foot defensively as they ended the 2015/16 season with a disappointing defeat to Clyde at Broadwood.

The Binos went 3-0 down before youngster Scott Burns scored an outstanding consolation, and the manager admitted his side had lost the spark they showed in their victory over Annan a week previously.

McLaren told Stirling News Sport: “It’s a disappointing finish to the season. I thought the week before against Annan, we looked like a side who still had plenty to play for. We worked really hard and played with a bit of quality but we lost that spark on Saturday. The first two goals were defendable from our point of view, but going forward we didn’t offer a great deal either so I’ve got no complaints about the result whatsoever.

“We were a bit slack in some situations. By and large we have been quite good defensively this season and it has been the odd error here or there. It has usually been about us not taking our chances at the other end.

“Scott is another one of our under-20s group who has great potential and we are delighted he was able to come on and score a terrific goal like that. It’s not something we will be expecting from him on a regular basis but it shows the capability he has got. He knows the work he has to do over the next 12 months or so to put himself in position to be a regular, but along with some of the other boys we’ve been seeing a bit of over the last few weeks, he is another good prospect.”

McLaren has already begun his preparations for next season with a number of players set to leave the club, and he admitted that letting players go is always difficult for a manager.

He said: “Over the past few weeks a lot of our energy has been going into preparing for next season as well as making sure we did ourselves justice in the last couple of games. Now everything is focused on next season and we have all our plans in place in terms of recruitment and retention of players. We are working hard to make sure pre-season runs as well as it possibly can do and that we hit the ground running at the start of the league season.

“Those decisions are always difficult to make. You build up a relationship with the guys over the course of the year, and as I said to them, you can never fault any of them for their effort. It is tough to make those decisions but I believe there are good players in that group and I’m confident they will have at least a couple more years playing at a good level of football.”

However, the Binos have retained the services of full-backs David Verlaque and Ross Forsyth, and McLaren was delighted to have managed to keep the duo.

He said: “David and Ross are two boys who are at opposite ends of their careers. David burst onto the scene halfway through the season and made a real impact. We were always satisfied that he was a player with potential for the future and we are delighted that he feels that the right thing for him to do is stay at Stirling Albion.

“Ross has pleasantly surprised us all with the number of games he has played. He has had a very good season and we are absolutely delighted with that. We managed to carve out a bit of niche for him because we wanted to do everything we could to help his transition into coaching, and he has made a good contribution with the Under-20s this season. We are really pleased that he wants to continue that next season and I can only see that development as a coach being furthered.”

The manager revealed that he is hoping to get the majority of his transfer business completed quickly and is confident that he will be able to deliver good news to the Binos fans in the coming weeks.

McLaren added: “I’m really hopeful that within the next week we will have some announcements to make, involving players both within the club and outwith. I would expect the majority of the squad to have taken shape by the end of the month so we can then relax for a week and come back really fresh for pre-season.”