Manager on ThursdayThursday, 29th Jul 2021
29/07/21: PG - “ What we are trying to do is build that competitive edge first within the building and then take that on to a park ….
The manager and his team are looking forward to the match against Gus Macpherson’s Morton this Saturday. Peter Grant:-
“Going to Greenock is very difficult and when you play against any team of Gus’ you know what you’re up against and you know that it is very competitive. We have to be ready for that because that is a big big, massive part of the game is competing. Never mind the playing, competing is so important as well.”
Focus is on the Morton match but when asked for reaction to the Premier Sports Cup draw made last Sunday evening that will see his side travel to face Rangers at Ibrox on Friday 13th August, he was emphatic:-
“I am not interested in Rangers, no interest. It is no use talking about it, it is three weeks away, Morton is the only game that I am focused on, nothing else!”
After the manager increased his first team pool by another four players the question now for Peter Grant is which eleven to start with in Saturday’s Championship opener away to Morton.
“All you pray and hope for is the fact that the boys keep fit, that is all you look for in your group. If you have everybody available that is a fantastic headache to have, to try and pick a team and you can only do that if you have a good quality round about.
“I think sometimes you are a bit concerned that this guy or that guy gets injured and how are we going to adjust to that? I think we have tried to cover all those bases in the squad that we have tried to build.
“We are happy with that, but is a manager ever happy? No. The boy who gets pole position has to try and hold on to that. Tactically and technically they can all play when but the bottom line is you have to produce that when the curtain comes back on a Saturday.
“You can be a good training player and not produce as much on a Saturday. They have to produce all the time but as I have said the biggest competitive edge as I’ve said to the players many times, they are not teammates during the week they are only team mates on a Saturday because the rest of the week you’re trying to keep your position. That is what you have to try and build within your group.”
Is the squad building complete?
“People will phone you and ask you about players and even though the window closes and God willing we do not get any injuries but that always happens, you know what it’s like. So I am always abreast of what is going on, who is moving here and who is available, so I think that is so important. If we thought there was somebody who could enhance the group I think that is very important for us always.
“You want to bring in people who are challenging to be playing not to be sitting on a bench. Everybody wants to play and that is the standard that you are trying to get with the quality of player. You will see that with the players that we have brought in, that is what we have tried to do, they are all capable of playing in the first team, they are all capable of playing at a very very good level.
“What we are trying to do is build that competitive edge first within the building and then take that on to a park, Saturday or Tuesday whenever the games are.”
Last Saturday Reece Cole went straight into the starting eleven and Kai Kennedy played the second 45. With Graham Dorrans and Rhys Breen signing this week it remains to be seen which players will kick off the league season. Peter continued:-
“Both of them (Graham and Rhys) have qualities, both of them can handle the ball and in a very important area of the pitch. I think it is so important and if you are dominating a game and a player is dominating the game and is the best player on the pitch by a country mile, he is still probably only on the ball for three minutes maximum.
“There is a hell of a lot of work they have to do off the ball, people forget that. There are two sides of the game, for the other 92 minutes they have to be making a big impact on the team. I think that’s what they do. I think that that quality. Who’s to say that the two of them are going to play all the time who knows? That is part of the challenge for everybody and that is why I say it has to be so competitive on the training ground because if you’re competitive on that become second nature.”
Both Graham and Rhys are fit and ready for the weekend but there is hope that at least one of the longer term injured is close to returning:-
“Yes have to be fit and healthy so we are getting people back now as well. Ryan Dow has been on the training pitch getting out a couple of passing drills in, that is fantastic news for us as well. He will be like a new signing once he is fully fit and we are really looking forward to having him back.
“Iain Wilson will be a little bit longer than Ryan but we are really happy where we are at this moment in time.
“Lewis Martin is getting there slowly but surely. We have taken a long time with him, getting the diagnosis correct. All these things are so so important. He is a fantastic kid as well being a really good player. We are biding our time with him to make sure that he is right.
“The most important thing is the kid, we have got to make the right decision for him in everything we do. He has worked extremely hard under difficult circumstances. We are in very close contact with the physios keeping them up to date with all the things that are going on with Lewis.
“You know what it is like when a manager keeps coming to you every day and asking how you are. It drives you crazy because you feel that you are not involved with anything.
“Because Lewis is based here at East End Park and we are training at Alloa, by the time that we come back he maybe doesn’t feel part of it because his rehabilitation is here. That is why the training facility becomes so important. When everybody is on the same pitches, everybody can see what is happening and everybody can feel involved. The quicker that training facility happens the better.”
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