Last weekend saw a disappointing defeat at Whitton Park, what are your thoughts on the game?
How do you sum up a game that sees you gift wrap the opposition goals while seeing individual errors, bad luck and poor decisions going against and the breaks not for you. This is the up and downs of football but as a team we also need to be brave and look to play. Saturday was a prime example of us allowing the conditions to dictate and credit to Broughty they coped better than us and put us into positions to make those errors to concede and win the game comfortably and thoroughly deserved their victory.
The own goal in the first two minutes is a setback but that’s all it is with so long left, but the second is so poor that blame doesn’t lay with the players as officials make errors but simple offsides are basic calls that should be dealt with, so at 2-0 it’s game plan out of the window. The third goal was a quality finish but we shouldn’t have allowed Marc Scott to turn and have a free shot at goal.
3-0 down at half time with a goal just before the break, what do you do?
Half Time is always interesting to see the reaction and it’s fine being positive in the dressing room but you need to show it out on the park, I felt the second half pretty much came and went, passed us by, and was summed up with the fourth goal which looked to be going wide but took a wicked deflection and looped in to the top corner out of Jamie’s reach, that was effectively how the game went right there. The fifth is a simple individual error that can happen to any player, I know Ryan won’t hide and will learn from it and it is important to take the positives, Ryan is a guy who has come back from two potentially career threatening knee injuries and he is still in the rehab stages of both sharpness and match fitness but still so young and back ahead of time as well as being the future of this club.
How do we learn from it?
You come away from the game not necessarily with more questions than answers but I would be lying if I said it surprised me, I learnt nothing that wasn’t there before. A heavy defeat like that is never nice to watch, read or be a part of, however, facts are facts and although we never really played at all we have given goals away down to errors we created, we also lost two weeks ago when we dominated everything and lost due to a mad 20 min spell against Kirriemuir again with errors all over the park.
How do we avoid it happening?
The simple answer is mind-set, mentality and desire and it has to change along with taking ownership of situations. I have seen over the years at senior and junior level players who have the attributes, train and prepare well but that is only part of it. If you don’t transfer that onto the pitch then questions will always be asked and by then it is usually too late to realise what opportunities you had at a well-run club and believe me the grass is not always greener.
Even before I took over from the Alan McSkimming, I had always known Carnoustie to be a nice team looking to grow on and off the park but as a club we have always just done enough. A lot of the players have been involved over the years, with some key players from last season’s cup winning squad also leaving at the end of the season and joining local rivals. Which means recruitment and strength in depth is critical for us going forward and circumstances can dictate who does or doesn’t come in. Ultimately the club has just done enough to avoid relegation after rollercoaster seasons of highs and lows with slightly increased points totals in-between seasons. The last 5 years this club has finished 12th,11th,12th,13th,12th and avoided relegation twice due to league reconstruction. I am fortunate that within my contacts we can look at all the stats. Statistically we have looked at previous seasons and tried to gauge a pattern for this. On far too many occasions throughout the course of the season we have lost 6 & 7 games in a row with heavy defeats 5-0, 6-1, 6-2, 4-0 etc. and winning 3 or 4 games in a row once or twice in a season, that could be down to a number of factors from injuries and suspensions to not having the depth to deal with that or simply not performing. That came as massive surprise to me and that has got to change, because consistency in everything we do is the basic standard to help us develop.
OK so if you know the problem, what is the solution
We have discussed it a lot with the players to try and help us, as a coaching team, understand and taken on board the feedback about the way they trained, the preparation and what they liked and disliked from before and how we can fine tune things. We now train to a very high intensity and no one shirks or hides in those sessions and our preparation is as professional as we can be. Some players are still grasping that but by in large the players come away knowing they have worked well and been a purpose to our sessions. We have seen the improvements but ultimately, we need to put it in practice on the park, in addition we also need to mix it and win ugly. You earn your own luck and that only comes down to working harder and smarter and through time in those games win more that you lose. I am a believer that you get your rewards over the peace. Good teams are able to mix it up and its part and parcel of the game as is being able to take collective responsibility as a group of players, coaches, committee and club.
How do we move on?
This season has not been without its troubles, it’s never easy for anybody at a football club when a manager decides to leave having been in the position for number of seasons, and being a popular character. The players will be given every opportunity to improve and earn the right to be part of what plans we have put in place. We have managed to sign two players into the squad and we know we have to strengthen and will have more new faces in the summer. I feel that will help take the club to the next stage of the development, consistency is the target but with injuries being the main factor it’s taken time to try and get players back fit without risking a relapse. To get the consistency levels required, we need a squad who are competing and pushing each other to do well with no starting position being a given.
The players are a great bunch of guys, honest as the days long and work hard and will be given every piece of advice and the opportunity to be a part of this clubs plans and they have my full backing to do just that. We will do everything to help them achieve that and will always be positive and encouraging towards them.