CALVIN Shand has praised his Musselburgh Athletic side as they moved 10 points clear at the top of the East Premier League – days before signing a new contract which will keep him as manager until the end of next season.

Burgh were 2-0 winners over Tranent Juniors at Olive Bank on Saturday, increasing their lead over second-placed Haddington Athletic at the top of the table into double figures as they seek an immediate return to the Superleague following last season’s relegation.

Shand was pleased with his side’s performance and has his sights firmly set on promotion.

He told Courier Sport: “Promotion is our target.

“Winning the league would be nice and it is a target now but we’ve said all along that promotion is our aim regardless of how we achieved it.”

On Saturday’s win, he added: “I thought we dealt with their physicality really well and we kept a clean sheet, which isn’t something we’ve been doing a lot recently, so that was good.

“The most pleasing thing was the win, especially in a local derby.”

Shand, who agreed terms on his new deal just 48 hours after the derby triumph, hailed stand-in keeper Ryan McGurk for his display.

The Burgh boss, who will now be in charge until May 2019, added: “Our number one Ally Adams is banned and Asher Tufail picked up a bit of an injury on Thursday night [at training].

“Ryan is our goalkeeping coach and he did a bit of the session on Thursday – I had no doubts about throwing him in because he’s a good keeper, maybe just a bit rusty.

“I thought he played well and he made a couple of good saves.”

Adams will sit out Burgh’s next two games as he completes a five-match ban, while Shand thinks Tufail is struggling to be available for the visit of St Andrews United this weekend.

Shand added: “It will be touch and go but if we need Ryan to step in, that won’t be a problem.”

The 34-year-old Burgh boss has also been boosted by the return of former talisman Jackie Myles – the ex-Burgh skipper who was an integral part of the team that reached the 2015 Scottish Junior Cup final – and striker Ryan Gay, both of whom have been added to his squad in the last few weeks.

And while Myles sat out the derby win, Shand insisted that was only a precaution after 18 months out following a cruciate knee ligament injury.

“We’ve just got to be careful with Jackie because he wants to go straight back into things at 100 per cent,” Shand added. “He’s been out for a long time so we’ve just got to manage him right.”

On the penning of his own new deal to remain at the club alongside assistant Kevin McDonald, the Olive Bank boss said: “There was never really any doubt that we wouldn’t be here.

“I played for Musselburgh and when we came in, we said we wanted to make the club a better place both on and off the pitch.

“I think from where we are in the table, we’ve definitely improved things on the pitch, but we’ve still got work to do.”