THE best is yet to come from title-chasing Tranent Juniors, according to manager Calvin Shand.

The Belters sit third in the East of Scotland Premier Division but would go joint top with leaders Bo’ness United if they win their two games in hand.

And he admits the Scottish Cup heroics of Bonnyrigg Rose have inspired his club to aim for that level.

Saturday’s trip to Hill of Beath Hawthorn, who sit fourth, just a point behind the Foresters Park side, marks the start of a busy three weeks, with Tranent taking on the teams in sixth – Penicuik Athletic – and second – Camelon Juniors – before the end of the year.

Shand told Courier Sport: “To be fair, they are all big games.

“This weekend, you look at the other teams in that top bunch and they are all playing each other.

“It is a big game for us and we cannot concentrate on anybody else.

“We need to keep getting results, putting in positive performances and keep doing what we have been doing.

“We have been really pleased with the group.”

Shand took charge of the Foresters Park side in February and guided the team to a place in the newly-formed East of Scotland Premier Division.

That form has continued this campaign, with Tranent only suffering defeat twice in their opening 12 league games.

Shand, who previously managed Musselburgh Athletic, felt that the team were “probably a little bit ahead of where I expected us to be”.

He highlighted the good recruitment and the team gelling together quickly as the reason for them pushing for a place in the Lowland League.

The manager said: “I think the performances so far, if you speak to the majority of people they will say we play as good football as anybody.

“Our defensive record, we have conceded the fewest amount of goals in the league.

“If you look at the statistics, we are performing well, scoring goals and not conceding many – it reads well.

“We are only going to improve.

“The performances so far have been really, really pleasing and our standard of play has been consistently really good.”

The league title will not be determined in December but Shand was keen to ensure his side remained in with a fighting chance of finishing top of the pile come the end of the campaign.

He felt that there were five or six teams, including the trio Tranent are about to play, who realistically would challenge for the title.

The 36-year-old looked to the success of Bonnyrigg Rose, who achieved promotion from the East of Scotland Football League to the Lowland League, the fifth tier of Scottish football, last term and have been challenging towards the top of the table there this season.

The Tranent boss said: “You look at how well they have done in the Scottish Cup and the league – we are not a million miles away from it.

“They have set the standard in recent times in terms of forward-thinking clubs doing well on and off the park.

“To see the club doing well in the Scottish Cup [Bonnyrigg have reached the fourth round after knocking out Montrose], it gives you inspiration and hunger to do it at our club.”