“A GOOD START, BUT A LONG WAY TO GO” SAYS GAFFER

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This week. we took the first chance for a chat with Manager, Phil McGuire to look at the first four games and then ahead to todays game at Scone Thistle

Phil, Four wins from four games, a good start to the season

“Yes it’s a good start but there is a very long way to go and we will experience different emotions from wins, losses and draws”

“Other teams have made excellent starts as well, and for us, it’s simply one game at a time and trying to be competitive in every game. If we can achieve that then we can aim for consistency and positive results.”
Looking at each game separately, what are your thoughts ?
“I think each game has been completely different. The Forfar Utd game, we dominated start to finish and scored some excellent goals with some really exciting football.”
“East Craigie, after cruising into a two goal lead we allowed ourselves to be complacent at times, credit to East Craigie as they passed and moved the ball well without really creating clear cut openings or testing our keeper, but caused us other issues in areas of the pitch and deservedly pulled one back, before being given a gift with slack defending to equalise.  At 2-2 the game was in the balance and we could have gone another way.  However, full credit to the team because to allow a 2 goal lead to slip we managed to dig deep and start getting into the right areas and creating better quality in our play. Yes Craigie went down to 10 men, but from the free kick they conceded, we capitalised straight away by winning the penalty and then never looked back.”
“The Dundee Violet game for me was disappointing in terms of our tempo. Winning the game is always important and the three points but it’s still good to make sure the quality was there, and it was when we needed it, part of that was very much down to the heat and 3 games in a week.”
“The Tayport game again a different test, we knew Tayport would want to try and play a certain way and impose themselves in the game. We had key players missing in Ziggy, Pat and Bailey, who are all starters, add that to Brian Clark returning after 6 weeks and I believe those players would be missed in any team   In our starting XI we had the skipper Ryan Roche, Jamie Winter and Steven McPhee all carrying knocks and should not have started but was their determination to start which shows the character of them and the team.2
“I felt we controlled large parts of the game, scored an excellent goal that we had worked on in training on Monday night,  preparing our set plays. We should have added a second but  it came back off the bar and then it was a scramble in the 6 yard box. Further chances came in the first half and Gary Thain made two good saves and wasteful finishing on other occasions. We restricted Tayport to long range shots and Jamie Robbie made virtually no saves during the 90 mins. At halftime we made a small tactical change after we noticed something about Tayport and the second half went the way we thought, we controlled the half again restricting the home team to snap shots from 25-30 yards. We countered as the game stretched and scored a fantastic team goal to go 2 up. We passed over a couple more chances and fair play to the Gary, he made two more saves when we should have punished them. “
“The disappointment was conceding the last kick of the game from Tayport’s first attempt really on target, defending a set piece we pride ourselves on and I said to the players it was my fault as we made three changes due to injuries and the confusion meant we weren’t as strong as we needed to be. Conceding so late only made the score-line closer but at the end of the day it’s 3 points.”
Moving on to look at Saturdays trip to Scone Thistle
“I look at our squad and in the last 2 years I can see the changes we have made. In the Tayport game we had 6 starters who weren’t here when I took the job on, add that to the other new players in the squad. Over time we have managed to work on all details in preparation, training and the club ethos, we demand high standards. It’s a credit to the players and especially the players that were already here, how they have managed to focus and come together to compete and look to improve and hopefully get that consistency. They very much police themselves,  which is excellent and asking the questions of each other is important for a team environment.”
“Tomorrow’s game will see us extremely stretched due to a combination of injuries, work, and tired legs, but we will still prepare the same way and go there as positive as we can be to get the correct result. It won’t be easy and I am not fooled by previous results because I still believe anyone in this league can win a game of football if a team isn’t switched on.”

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