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    Managers Corner



    Peter Grant after penalty decider 

    Tuesday, July 16, 2019 7:14:47 PM

    Peter Grant after defeat in Penalty Shoot-Out

    Obviously disappointed at outcome of tonight’s game but not the performance, the goals were disappointing, we had spoke about losing goals especially the second one, I had noticed in the Livingston game last week about our marking, I wasn’t happy with that, so we spoke about that and then conceded again tonight, “Robbo” apologised he is still a young man learning the game but we need that concentration level.

    In general play, I thought we played a lot of good stuff but losing three goals from three set plays which we had spoken about, we shouldn’t be losing three goals from set plays and every goal we scored we had to work hard for. We had a lot of young boys on the bench this evening who had earned that opportunity; we are still looking to bring in new guys, which are important to build the group up which is important.

    The cup is important for us, we want to win every game we play, that never changes and we will look to go and put out on a similar performances with the ball at Hibernian, but we need to be tougher with the ball and be hard to beat, we need to keep playing that way moving and turning the ball over but at set Plays, 80% in Championship are scored at set plays.

    So pleased with generally our play but need to cut out silly mistakes.

    Peter Grant

    Alloa Athletic FCManager

    Jim Goodwin at Ayr 

    Sunday, May 05, 2019 8:23:38 AM

    Jim Goodwin after finishing 8th in Championship

    It has been a fantastic day but it was all down to the hard work during the last ten months which has paid off, it was probably the longest half of football that I have ever experienced in my career, but the most satisfying when the final whistle went. It was very emotional; the boys are over the moon to be a Championship team again next season. I am delighted for everybody within the club from the board level right down to the players and supporters and for all these guys for sticking with us when you guys in the press had written us off before a ball was kicked, I think we were bottom in every prediction table and the players deserve all the credit ramming that back down people’s throats and proving that we are more than capable of being in this league. We have won ten of our league games having been written off, it is difficult for a part time team so the players deserve so much credit, it is not easy juggling jobs, trying to keep yourself fit so delighted for everybody and I can’t wait to go and celebrate properly with the boys.

    I genuinely believed when I put this squad together in the summer and knew if I could get the right loan players in to add to the quality we already had, when I looked at all the others squads I genuinely believed we had as good a chance as anyone. You can talk about budgets and full-time and part-time, if you get the right group of people, it doesn’t matter in what industry, business or sport together as we had in our dressing room then you create an unbelievable team spirit and I think we have always had that. I always believed we would stay in the league and when I look back in the season and look at some of the results which didn’t go our way I think we could have finished even higher in the league but I don’t want to get greedy. Before a ball was kicked we would probably have taken ninth but as the season went on we just wanted to avoid all that nonsense - The Play-Off’s are horrendous we didn’t want to be involved  again after being there the last two seasons, the experience in the Play-Off’s is mentally draining and I am pleased for the players now, eight or nine of them have been with me the past three seasons and delighted they can now go and get a proper break and recharge the batteries having only three weeks off in each of the past two seasons, where as now they can get six or seven weeks rest.

    I thought we started the game really well, we spoke earlier in the week about not being happy just to come here and be happy with a point we came here to get our noses in front and win the game, we had enough chances in the first half Dario had a good chance at the back post and he then had another chance when he strikes the crossbar and we had other chances, I thought we were the better team up until Ayr United got the equaliser and then things did get a little bit nervy and the message at half-time was just to calm down, relax and show composure on the ball and to be honest the boys managed the game brilliantly in the end and got the job done.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin after home defeat to ICT 

    Sunday, April 28, 2019 12:50:28 PM

    Jim Goodwin after home defeat to Inverness CT

    We had been leading 1-0 with twenty five minutes to go and I thought at that point we were going to come away with something from the game but then to lose two goals in five minutes like we did was extremely disappointing.

    It seemed like déjà vu from last week, we were 1-0 up at half-time, played well, got our noses in front and then done the exact same thing this week, I still thought we were worthy of something out of the game, so it is very frustrating.

    There were calls for a second penalty, I didn’t get a great view from where I was, Andy Graham certainly felt he was kicked in the back of the leg and pushed over, whether it was or not we shouldn’t be relying on  the referee to do us a favour at the end to try and take something from that game. There wasn’t a great deal between the teams, Neil Parry had one very good save in the second half other than that I can’t remember him having a save to make. Possession wise it was fairly even, shots on target fairly even and we had eleven corners to their four, we were trying to win the game, it is as simple as that. The message at half-time was go out and do exactly the same but it’s that old cliché goals change games, the goals we lost were so disappointing and avoidable from our point of view.

    It was frustrating at the end, Inverness got themselves in front and then tried to run the clock down, the referee added on three minutes initially which I didn’t believe was enough considering all the substitutions and the amount of time it was taking to get the ball back in play and then within that three minutes we had a skirmish for a minute and two or three players going down injured, you can add on time on added on time if the time wasting continues. I don’t want to make a big thing about it, it sounds as if you are clutching at straws, at the end of the day Inverness were well within their rights to run the clock down, we would do the same in their situation but I thought the referee could maybe manage the situation a wee bit better.

    We had chances, Connor Shields had a good chance at the back post their keeper makes a good save, Kirky had a great strike it bounced away from the keeper but Jack Hamilton just needed to react a bit quicker but we just need to get over it as quick as we can, we now have one game left down at Ayr and we need to go and win it, it’s a simple as that. We will train as we always do on Tuesday and Thursday and prepare properly for a difficult opponent in Ayr United and hopefully we can go down there and win.

    I personally think we should have been safe by this time that’s the frustrating part from my point of view it shouldn’t be going down to the wire as it is now going to be before Partick Thistle game we had won four games on the bounce, to be 1-0 up at half-time against Partick Thistle and then to lose was gut wrenching but then to do the exact same thing today is extremely frustrating and it’s that frustration we will have to try and get over as quick as we can, if teams had been cutting us open and creating chance after chance but the goals we have lost were poor we should have been closer to the shot for the first one and the second one is just a basic corner where we need to defend it better. I can’t point the finger too much at the players because they have been magnificent up to now but we just need to try and go again next week, their character has never been questioned and I know the boys will be ready we just have to believe we can go and win.

    Jim Goodwin

     

    Jim Goodwin at Firhill 

    Wednesday, April 24, 2019 2:21:29 AM

    Jim Goodwin at Firhill Stadium

    Disappointed to our start in the second half the way we did , I thought the way the boys played in the first half was perfect, it was everything that we had spoken about in the build up to the game to allow Patrick’s three defenders at the back to have the ball and hit them on the break, we got in a couple of times on the counterattack, Jack Aitchison does perfect for his goal, it was a great finish so we were delighted at half-time as you can imagine but we knew about the threat Partick Thistle have with the quality of players they have and being able to bring off the bench. Credit to Gary Caldwell he made a brave double substitution at half-time and I thought Joe Cardle and Gary Harkins did really well.

    Joe got his goal after a couple of minutes which is disappointing, because we spoke about the importance of the opening ten minutes of the Second half and how important it was to keep the score line at 1-0 and stay in the game and manage it properly, unfortunately we didn’t do that, Cardle drifted in to the middle of the pitch and got his shot away and that was one each.

    The goals for me we lost were disappointing because we had been blocking shots and stopping crosses in the whole first half up until then, I don’t think Neilly had too many safes to make and the winning goal you just have to take your hat off sometime and give credit to Scott McDonald, when you are able to bring a player of that quality to your club then that’s what you get his sixth goal since he arrived he has been a really good signing for them.

    We are disappointed because we would be disappointed to lose any game of football, but I did say to the players they can be very proud of the run they were on prior to the game, we are the only team in the league this season to win four games in a row, so we took a lot of credit for that but we will not get down in the dumps about this afternoon being 1-0 up a half-time we should take something from the game, but I have been there as a player too many times when you know 1-0 is not a comfortable lead, so we need to go again and it is still in our hands.

    If you had offered me this situation at the start of the season with two games left we are three points off the bottom and need to go and win another game of football to stay in the division I would have snapped the hand off you. So we have Inverness CT and Ayr United coming up two games which we be extremely difficult games, but games we are more than capable of winning.

    I can’t argue to much with the final result Partick were the better team on the day, we did really well in the first half but they were on top in second half which gives them a fighting chance now, it is a fantastic league, really entertaining and I think you will be doing well to find a more entertaining league this season - It’s still all to play for everybody’s still in the mix and there is still a lot of football to be played.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin after victory over QOS 

    Saturday, April 13, 2019 1:36:13 PM

    Jim Goodwin after 4th consecutive victory

    We are over the moon again, fantastic, the boys are terrific, we didn’t play particularly great today we have played a hell of a lot better than that and lost, people say it evens itself out but that is as bad a performance as we have put in, in terms of possession in a long time but it just goes to show again the resilience of the defenders and big Neilly in goal  who had to make some important saves and we managed to stay in the game. I thought we started the game particularly well in the opening 15 - 20 minutes and were on top, hit the post and looked as if we were going to go in front then in fairness to Queen of the South I thought they were the strongest team for the rest of the first half. 

    In at 0 - 0 at half-time and we knew we had to improve going into the second half and I thought the second half was a lot more even to be honest. We know the threat Queen of the South have, they are very direct in their approach up to Dykes who is very good in the air and we had to match runners off him and I thought the boys did that, it wasn’t pretty, we got a bit of luck today and I’m really pleased for the boys and that is the first time in the club’s history they have managed to win four games in a row in the Championship, so it is another one the boys can tick off, they have achieved a lot this season so I’m delighted for them.

    Andy Graham is an absolute warrior, it is the best word to describe him he has played through so many knocks and injuries that people wouldn’t believe me if I told them, he has a hole in his calf an inch by an inch deep and he had seven stitches in it up at Inverness which got infected. He now has suffered a broken nose today, he has all kinds of problems the big man but he is never willing to throw the towel in and he typifies everything about us as a club and us as a group in terms of character. Just desperate to do anything to make sure we stay in this league. I thought he was outstanding again, we did have a number of good performances, yes we didn’t play well going forward and we know we need to do better on the ball but my back four and particularly big Neil Parry, were brilliant on the day.

    The goal we worked hard it in training all week!

    No the conditions were difficult, it was very blustery out there, it was one of these ones as the corner left Steve’s boot I thought it was going over the bar to be honest with you, but we got the luck and it went straight in. You get your luck at times and on other occasions we have had bad luck along the way during the season so this was a very good time to get some good luck.

    We are delighted but I am pretty sure Gary Naysmith will be extremely disappointed because I thought his team were excellent and If I am being honest and I always try to be honest in my assessment, I thought they were the better team on the day but we got our rewards for our resilience and managing to stay in the game.

    We still have three massive games to come and I try not to look at the number on the left with us being in sixth than the points number on the right and I think it is really important for us as a group not to get carried away with that. Yes we are sitting in sixth and delighted to be there but at the same time we are only four points off bottom. All the teams below us are more than capable of winning a couple of games out of the next three, so we just have to make sure that we carry on doing our job between now and the end of the season and I think if we can get one more win then probably that will be enough to keep us in the league.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin after victory over Morton 

    Tuesday, April 09, 2019 7:42:46 PM

    Jim Goodwin after victory at Cappielow

    The boys were absolutely fantastic again, I could just about repeat what I said after the game on Saturday, and it was all about character again, you go a goal down away from home a lot of teams would capitulate, I thought it was a soft penalty, a little bit clumsy in our part, I can see why the referee gives it but in saying that I think the Morton player was very clever as he made the referee make a decision and unfortunately it went again us.

    However the boys never let their heads go down and stuck in and kept going and we get our rewards through a decent finish from Andy Graham and the second one I thought was a really good bit of play on the far side between Kevin Cawley & Dario Zanatta. The only negative for me was we got into good areas especially down that left side in the second half but sometimes the quality coming in wasn’t good enough. That wasn’t the case for the winning goal which Jack Hamilton tucked away and from there on in it was about managing the game and seeing it out. They threw everything at us in the end, they are a dangerous team from set plays, they win a lot of free kicks in the middle of the pitch. Anything 60 or 70 yards from our goal was coming into our box, the boy Buchanan must be knackered the amount of time he runs up and down that park and he is a big threat but we coped with it and our boys at the end won some important headers with Andy Graham, Scott Taggart and Neil Parry all excellent, Neil coming and taking crosses.

    It is fantastic for us at this stage of the season to go three games on the spin and take full points, quite incredible. There is still a lot of football to be played, I said to the guys before tonight’s game, it is in our hands we don’t need anybody to do us a favour, it is a great position for us to be in we are not relying on anybody beating someone else for us and we know we are capable of beating anybody on our day, we now look forward to meeting Queen of the South on Saturday, they are another team we have done well against in the past, we know the dangers they have in Dobbie & Dykes but at the same time we know we can cause them problems going the other way, so let’s go and try and make it four in a row.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin after victory at Falkirk 

    Saturday, April 06, 2019 3:52:53 PM

    Jim Goodwin after victory at Falkirk

    We are an extremely happy bunch after that, it was  important we came here today and tried to follow up after the good performance last week, there was no point going and beating the best team in the league and then coming here and not being positive in our mindset.

    We done that from the start of today’s game and with we deservedly got ourselves in front. Although after this we were disappointed to lose the goal just 25 seconds into the second half, we need to do better to avoid these opportunities arising for our opponents, but great testament to our players, at these points it is easy to crack under the pressure but we stood up and rode out the storm for the next five minutes and slowly but surely we got ourselves back into the game and went and got the late goal.

     Winning games at this late stage of the season is vital particularly in the position that we are in. We believed that we could come here and win the game today and this is shown through the way we were set up today. We discussed it as a team during the week, that there was no point in coming here and being happy to take a point from the game, it’s not how we go about things  so we set the team up to win rather than not to lose and I think you would see that in the way we played today.

    First half we did well on the ball in possession and I think we caused them a number of problems and probably just lacked a little cutting edge in the final third with our final ball letting us down at times. This is the time to go on a run and put pressure on the teams around us in the league which is great.

    It is going to be a busy week this week with Morton on Tuesday night and Queen of the South on Saturday which could be seen as a defining week for us. We have great confidence and great faith in each other as a group, people can talk about budgets and being part-time and everything else but when you have the togetherness and team spirit which we have with both staff and players it can take you a long way. This can be seen again today when there were players who are disappointed not to be starting today but when they come on the pitch today they have made a great impact on the game. All substitutes, Jack Hamilton, Kevin Cawley and Jordan Kirkpatrick were involved in the goal with Jack winning the first flick on, then Kevin nods it down, then Jordan who having only just came onto the park had the composure to finish it for us. I was delighted for all three of these boys as they have been terrific in training they don’t feel sorry for themselves they respect the decisions which I have to make and when they are needed throughout a game they are ready as shown in today’s game. The substitutions which we made showed that we were here trying to win the game, we weren’t going to hang on for a point, it was vital that we came here to win the game and we did that.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin after victory over Ross County 

    Saturday, March 30, 2019 7:06:49 PM

    Jim Goodwin after defeating league leaders

    We are over the moon with the result which has been long overdue, the three previous games against Ross County have all been close encounters barring the one up their the last time but we were confident coming into today’s game, I know we haven’t been on a great run and everybody would have expected the league leaders to come here and turn us over quite confidently. We worked hard during the week, it has been a really tough week for us, the players energy wise has been testing after two really difficult away games against Dundee United & Inverness CT, the players had to recover quickly because we knew this afternoon was going to be difficult as well and I thought every single one of them was outstanding there was nobody below 7 out of 10.

    We are capable of beating anyone on the day if we all turn up and we all play to the level required, we needed our goalkeeper to make a couple of key saves, our centre half to be brave and aggressive and the boys at the top end of the pitch to be on it and I thought to a man, even the boys we came on all contributed something towards a massive three points.

    I think the players have done great just to stay in the mix when you consider we have had only one win in seven prior to today we have been on a sticky run but the players deserve all the credit for keeping us in the hunt, I keep saying to you guys and everyone else “The pressure is on everyone else”.

    They have all chucked a lot of money out in January, they are all full-time, nobody gave us a hope before a ball was kicked this season apart from ourselves, the board, the boys in the changing room and the people at this club, we were the only ones who could see us saying in the league, with six games to go we still believe we can stay in the league, we have a huge week coming - we play Falkirk Saturday, Greenock Morton on Tuesday and Queen of the South at home the following Saturday, three huge games that could really be decisive where we are going to be next season, and we don’t fear any of those three teams.

    Our only criticism at half-time is we were only 1-0 ahead, we should have been two or three up, I thought we had a couple of decent opportunities, I know Neil Parry had to make a good save in the first half but I thought we could have been at least a couple of goals ahead at half-time. The manner of the victory was brilliant, we had to put our bodies on the line at times and we stuck together in the last ten minutes when it was wave upon wave of pressure, Ross County could make some very big changes with Ross Stewart coming off the bench who we know all too well, we know the qualities Ross has and our defenders had to stand up to them, they ended up with two big boys up front, they were very direct and threw everything at us but to a man they all stood up to it and Neil Parry made some vital saves as well.

    It has been a difficult week and I think prior to the Dundee United game if you had offered me three points from these three games, I would probably would have took it to be honest to you. So it puts us in a great position going into the remaining games, the boys are feeling great about themselves, we love this league, we love being in Championship and we want to stay here and we will fight and scrap for every single ball to try and stay in this division.

    Jim Goodwin

     

     

    Jim Goodwin at Inverness in midweek 

    Tuesday, March 26, 2019 7:27:34 PM

    Jim Goodwin after midweek defeat at Inverness CT

    The two goals at the end make it look respectable but it would have been daylight robbery if we had come away with anything tonight, we didn’t do enough, we were poor in possession and looked vulnerable every time Inverness broke on us they were dangerous on the counter attack.  We spoke about it before the game but unfortunately we didn’t cope well enough on the night.

    In saying that the goals were very poor we conceded, we have got to do better for the first one and stop the cross on the far side and Doran just ghosts into the penalty box a free header 12 yards out we needed to match him better. The second one Iain Flannigan slips in the box, he didn’t mean to go to ground and slips but it obviously looks a stonewall penalty and I can see why the referee gives it and the third goal is just a really poor goal we were all over the place, a ball straight through the middle of our back line and Jordan White is in on goal, all three goals were avoidable but at the same time we just didn’t do enough on the night. It was as poor a performance as we have had and we didn’t really lay a glove on Inverness all night, I thought they dominated the majority of the game, they controlled the game in possession and the only other game I can think was like it was a Tuesday night down at Somerset Park against Ayr United and that was the last time we had conceded three goals. These night games aren’t ideal for us unfortunately, some of the boys were out working at half past four this morning and I think that shows in the performance.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin at Tannadice 

    Sunday, March 24, 2019 5:57:43 PM

    Jim Goodwin after losing late goal at Tannadice

    We are extremely disappointed to lose such a late goal, the players put a hell of a lot of effort into the game and I thought that commitment, effort and the way we stuck to the game plam I thought it warranted a point. I don’t think we played as well as we could have done in possession but in terms of our shape of our defensive line I thought the boys were excellent.

    I have a confident group of players, we came here believing that we could get a positive result, we got our nose in front which was fantastic in the first half and we expected Dundee United to throw everything at us, they were desperate for the win to keep the pressure on Ross County. There is a huge gulf between the two clubs, they are at one end of the table fighting to go up and we are at the other end fighting to stay in the league. Our players show the kind of character and commitment and they will fight tooth and nail to try and keep our place in the Championship. I can never ever fault their effort  and I just think so late in the game with six or seven minutes to go it would have been great to hold on because it would have been a huge point for us.

    We got done on the far side a little one two and it was a decent ball into the box and the last man you wanted it to drop to was Nicky Clark six yards out but I thought we contained Dundee United very well throughout the game, yes they had large spells of possession but I didn’t really think they were causing us too many problems, Neil Parry makes one fantastic save from a header but other than that in the second half he had too many saves to make, he came for a few cross balls and dealt with them brilliantly, I thought the shape of the team was excellent, I thought they stuck to their task and as I said we would happy been over the moon with a point and it would have got us a step closer to the teams above us but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I don’t think anybody would have given us a chance before the game but we as a group believed we could do something, we have caused United a lot of problems in the past already this season and we still believed we could again take something from the game.

    We are still within touching distance the teams above us it is as simple as that and there is still a lot to play for we have eight games left there is no point dwelling on this game now albeit the players can take a lot of pride in their performance and what they put into the game but inevitably it has ended in disappointment because we have nothing to show for all that effort. We tried to hit Dundee United on the counterattack and it worked at times in the first half but we now have a busy time coming up with four games in two weeks and it is trying to save as much energy as we can to make such we can get through that difficult period.

    Jim Goodwin

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