“Lochee United are the benchmark and will be the team to beat this season” that’s according to manager Phil McGuire, after the dust had settle on Wednesday nights win we sat down to look forward to Saturdays game and look back to the bizarre game on Wednesday night
Thats 10 points from 12 and we now face Lochee United?
Yes it has been a great start and I have been told the best the club have had in the Super League, so that’s a massive credit to the players for their application and work rate. We are under no illusions however that there are many highs and lows to come and we will only ever look at the next game, we want to progress and improve and I believe we can with this squad, who are improving and looking at their own games and working hard on that in training week in, week out. Lochee United are the bench mark and had a great season last year so for us and all the other teams we know how much of a challenge that is. We respect them as a club and how they look to play football with the mixture of experience and younger players they have and also we know they will be the team to beat this season. We do go into the game with players missing and players who will need to be assessed on fitness on Saturday but we will always look to compete and maybe cause an upset on the day.
At the end of the day it was another 3 points but Wednesday nights game was a little bizarre?
An Extremely bizarre game, and that would be an understatement. We knew it would be difficult and a strange situation with the former coaching team but for me it wasn’t about playing mind games it was simply to play our own game and treat it no differently to any other. I could say a lot about the game but for me it’s about sticking to facts and only concentrating on what I control and the coaching of my team. We looked to play and create which we did, We discussed possible weaknesses and we felt that they could give us opportunities, we took a deserved lead through good build up play in which Ziggy, with a small slice of luck was in to finish, despite the appeals for offside he was clearly in line with the last defender.
The second was a well whipped in corner, Gordon McDonald escaped his man and headed home at the near post. We allowed Tayport back into the game when it became stretched and they found wide areas and applied pressure through corners and set plays, they pulled a deserved goal back when we allowed them too much space, As for the first red card, the player can have no arguments
At half time I told the boys to play and keep our discipline, we started well and moved the ball and after good build up and movement, McPhee got beyond there defence to be pulled down and we converted the penalty through Sam. The next ten mins were uneventful in which we were wasteful with our final ball, then Tayport pulled a goal back after a lapse in concentration from us. That made things nervous and we never really moved the ball around the way we should and have done, for the majority of our games we have played. Tayport were reduced to nine men after a second yellow in the final ten mins and subsequently eight men in the last minute in which there can be no complaints, and we had to deal with a few balls flying into our box.
We lost our shape due to the bizarre turn of events and in what is not a normal game plan, it is something we will learn from and gain experience about, being more basic in possession and maintaining our shape, despite what situation the opposition may find themselves in. Did we look to play and create ? yes we did, we deserved the victory but we also know we can do better when playing against ten men and subsequently nine men for the final 8/9 mins by keeping possession and sticking to our shape. The final red card was in injury time but by then the game had become a bit of a shambles.
I must praise my players however for the discipline shown In which it could easily have spilled over but with no bookings from our players it was excellent in a game which had 8 yellows and 4 red cards.
The midweek games are done, that must help, getting in to a routine?
Massively, with midweek games it’s good to keep playing but combining that with work schedules, knocks and a lack of training, it is difficult. We have a great back room team and have been able to patch players up, get massages and recover well with the structure we have in place. Now going back to just Saturday games allows us the chance to work on things in training to help develop and improve. It also allows us the chance to bring some of our 17s back in to help and assist with there developments. Just this week, young Lewis Sivewright joined Dundee FC after discussions I had with them last week, he showed up well for the Pro Youth U18s scoring 2 goals, so that’s a massive plus for the club development as a whole and shows the pathway is there to make that step up.
I have worked closely with Andy Miller at the u17s to help develop and integrate the players into our setup and it has worked well so far, having that relationship to hopefully Improve the players filtering through. We are always looking at expansion and it’s an area that talks will take place to see if we can improve on it again with a more detailed pathway.