“THE ASSISTANT SAW WHAT HE NEEDED TO SEE”

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The weather meant we couldn’t do out post match interview on Saturday but after the boss battled through the frozen wastes of the A9 this morning we had a catch up over the phone and looked back on Saturdays game.

You made a couple of changes to the starting line up on Saturday and it’s fair to say they took a while to settle down. However, ultimately we probably did enough to win

Yes we made several changes to the squad due to a combination of injury, illness and unavailability and also had to include several players who started that were not 100% fit.
I felt the conditions played into the oppositions hands in the first half as they used the wind to put a lot of long balls, free kicks and corners right in on top of us. We had several excellent counters ourselves to take the lead and probably should have done exactly that.The opening goal comes from a mistake at their corner and we needed to be stronger and attack the ball so it was a poor goal from our point of view

At half time, I told the players we needed to move the ball quicker and push up on our opponents, I felt that after the break, we dominated large parts of the game and the Banks O’Dee keeper made three or four excellent saves. We equalised with a deft header from Pat who just has a knack of scoring from deeper positions which is excellent. We went down to ten men and from our perspective I felt that even with a player down for the last 25 minutes we still took the game to our opponents and with Gordon Macdonald going close on two or three occasions we had chances. Going into penalties it’s just a lottery and an unfortunate thing to be losers but for me I can’t fault my players for their work rate and play in the second half considering the changes we made prior and during the game and we will win more games playing that way. I do have to make a special mention to young Cammy Dow coming in and acquiting himself well in his first start for the club.

The game it was very stop start and there were decisions that baffled everyone and with no consistency, it led to frustrations. To be honest I am no further forward in understanding specific rules, there are different versions of late tackles deemed punishable and playing advantage or no advantage is confusing. We are able to watch our games back over but it still remains unclear and I am sure every other manager goes through the same issues.

All credit to Banks O’Dee they were a strong, organised and physical outfit and I am sure they will cause Dundee North End issues in the next round.

Banks O’Dee are sitting top of the Super League in the North where do you think they would fit in to our Super League North ?

I think they would do reasonably well, it’s always difficult comparing teams as it’s effectively based on one off games and on any day teams can be stubborn and difficult. I think they can cause teams problems and have a very good setup at Spain Park. I think they would certainly be in the top six of clubs but not so sure about pushing the likes of a Lochee United or Broughty over a season but would be competitive.

Any complaints about Ryan’s red card other than Henderson received nothing for his kick out that started the altercation ?

I think the Assistant is 80 yards away from it and he has seen what he needed or wanted to see. Ryan isn’t a player who would head butt anyone and he retaliated initially to the kick he received off the ball as the player had crashed into the back of him, he is kicked and as the player gets up both players are head to head, he didn’t thrust his head forward but what I would say is you always run that risk and the forward has been clever and gone down holding his face. Ryan knows he was done hook, line and sinker. It’s a learning curve and personal disappointment for Ryan but he will learn, be stronger and laugh it off in the future as well as continuing to lead this team for a long period.

Ryan now misses two games, a big miss

It’s always a miss losing a player but your captain is a big loss, considering the attitude and work rate Ryan has shown in the last sixteen months. Returning from a serious knee injury, how we have put him through the correct rehab and managed his training is a testament to Ryan’s character and how he has developed and proven himself. We will certainly feel his loss but it’s something as a squad we deal with and Ryan will show his leadership skills in a different environment by motivating and encouraging the players during his suspension, yes he will still kick and head every ball but that’s what winners do.

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