Managers Post RaithWednesday, 29th Sep 2021
29/09/21: Link to audio of both Peter Grant and John McGlynn’s post match interviews
- - Listen to this Peter Grant Interview
Peter Grant felt that he deserved at least the one point out of the match against Raith Rovers.
“The first half wasn’t the way that we wanted it. It has been quite a difficult build up to the game with injuries and whatever so we never really got working on anything because not all the boys trained and I was waiting until tonight before I could select the side. I think you could see that in the first half but I thought the second half we were much better.
“There were a few incidents that I have not seen back so I would be loathe to critical but the ones I did see there should have been a couple of bookings especially against Kai (Kennedy) early in the game and at the start of the second half. That always makes it difficult for a defender then to watch his tackling after that and gives Kai that bit more space.
“It is a bit unfair because you can’t keep checking him for the same things. I was disappointed at that. Claims for a penalty kick? I have not seen it, Craig Wighton’s chance for a goal, I have not seen it. These are the wee moments that you hope are going to go for you but in the second half I thought that they showed great guts and great determination.
“I thought that we were going to go on and win the game but then Fons had to bring a top top class save out to get us the point in the game. I am delighted for him as well because he has been fantastic.”
You changed things at half time bringing on Kevin O ‘Hara and Craig Wighton?
“Obviously you knew about Saturday and not knowing if they were going to be fit enough to start the game. It was how many minutes could I give them? I had to use them, we had to put them on early because I needed to change the momentum of the game in that respect. That is what we did and I have said to all these boys that it is going to be the squad that is going to get us results and performances because I have enough players who can win games.
“From the start to the game and the first half we knew that we had to change. Circumstances probably dictated that, I couldn’t be critical of the players because it is easy when you have not talked about it or not shown them what you are wanting and then you are asking them on a blackboard which is not the same as on the field. Unfortunately between the game on Saturday and the game today we couldn’t do that.”
Is it a good point or two points dropped?
“I am disappointed not to win the game, I am always desperate to win a game, we had fantastic backing again. I know I have my critics but fantastic backing from the supporters who were desperate for us to win the game. I think that they can see the spirit that the boys showed, they have never waned once.
“Even the boys who made the bench tonight, which I didn’t think was going to be the case this morning, they decided to go on the bench and give it their all to try and play. I think they deserve more than they are getting at this moment in time but that is probably because I am their manager.
“I know how much sacrifice they are making in trying to get that victory. Hopefully that is not too far away.”
You could see from the goal celebration of not just the supporters but by the players how much it meant. How big a turning point can that potentially be in your season?
“As I have said to you many times, you can’t give people bags of confidence. Sometimes when you are playing poorly and you are winning you think that you are great. It is vice versa, sometimes you are doing well in games and you don’t believe it because you are not winning. We have to show that to the players and show that the things that they are doing well and try and do other things better.
“We know that we have good players. I was delighted with Mark (Connolly) coming in tonight, I think he showed his experience and his aggressiveness at important times for us. I thought that there were a lot of good performances in the second half. We have got a lot to improve on, but this was a tough game for us because of the situation that we find ourselves in after the weekend.
“Great credit to the players I have to tip my hat to them. I am just disappointed that we never got the win for the supporters and for the players.”
What does that say for Mark Connolly to be able to come in at such short notice and play in a game of this magnitude?
“That is the type you have. You have got to have winners and I think for young centre backs it is something for you to use. I think that we have got away from the most important fact for a defender is to defend. Think you could see that at the first goal, you have to be able to defend one v ones. You have to be able to battle your corner.
“Mark does that. He has a good voice on him and I think that is very important. That is something that young players have to learn because it is nothing that they have been taught. The game is different in later years and I still think that there is places for people who are proper defenders who organise, cajole, put their heads in, go and get their blocks in.
“You can say that about them all. That is the thing that I’m hoping that he will bring to the group. I think that you can see that on tonight’s performance.”
How is Paul Watson?
“He is just not available for tonight’s game. As I say that’s that, I thought that there was going to be a lot more of them but fortunately most of them could make it. That is the situation at this moment in time.”
- - Hear the comments from John McGlynn
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