Saturday, March 18, 2017 5:35:06 PM
Jim Goodwin after 0-0 draw at Methil
I thought today we just lacked that wee bit of a cutting edge in the final third, but again I could never question my player’s commitment or attitude, defensively I thought we were excellent, really pleased with a clean sheet but I am well aware we need to win our games between now and the end of the season to close the gap, so we are disappointed not to get the win but East Fife have only lost one game in the league in their last 13 games, against ourselves at the Indodrill Stadium at the end of February, Barry Smith has them well organised, they have loads of energy, they are a good team, there have been many a team who have come here and struggled. I thought we dominated the second half but never really created any great opportunities.
We are still in a great position; we had won four on the bounce before today, unfortunately we weren’t able to get the win today, the lads have been terrific, absolutely fantastic and I keep saying week after week we will never stop going right till the end of the season. Until it is impossible for us to win the League we will never stop going right till the end, we will do all we can to continue to put pressure on Livingston, fair play to them today grinding out a result against difficult opposition against Stranraer at Stair Park. However there are still eight games to go and anything can happen and we have still to go to Livingston and we still believe we can win it.
We now move on to another difficult game on Tuesday night against Brechin City, they have picked up a bit of good form in recent weeks and they have been excellent. It is always a difficult venue, I don’t think the pitch is in any great shape, so hopefully we don’t get too much rain and the game goes ahead - we expect another tough game up there, we managed to grind out a win up there the last time and hopefully we can do the same on Tuesday night.
Sunday, March 12, 2017 3:32:02 AM
Jim Goodwin after victory over Stenhousemuir
Huge win, but we were not at our best, that’s four wins in a row now, the boys have been in great form, really pleased to get the job done, we made hard work of it as the second half wore on but delighted to get the three points, with Livingston losing the gap is now back to seven points. Livingston have set the standard and they have been the team to catch but we have always said in recent weeks we will never throw in the towel and we will keep going right till the end as you say the gap is now back to seven with nine games to play and we still need to play Livingston themselves, we just need to focus and concentrate on our own job and make sure we are picking up points, at 1-1 with fifteen minutes to go we made a change and went all out attack and thankfully it paid off.
I’m very lucky to have the squad of players I have and have good options, Steven Hetherington and Jon Robertson were out today due to suspension, but even then my bench looks pretty strong so to take two big members of the squad out of it completely and still have these attacking options is great. Jamie Longworth has did brilliant coming off the bench and I know he has been frustrated by lack of match time but when he has come on he has always made an impact and has scored some important goals and Stef McCluskey also came on to freshen it up, it was nothing to do with Iain Flannigan or Kevin Cawley performances all I did was to try and freshen things up.
Big Dylan Mackin has been fantastic since he came in he is still only a young boy, a bit raw, he is an old fashioned number nine and that is what we have been lacking since the start of the season, he competes well, he is a nightmare for centre half’s, he holds the ball up well, links the game up well and did fantastic for the opening goal when other people might have lashed at it with their right foot he had the composure to “Cruyff” him turning the ball back onto his left and scored a great goal and then he did well for the penalty as well. Overall the team performance was great but overall we spoke amount just how important the win was regardless of wanting to go out and play great football because we have these types of players but when needs must we need to roll our sleeves up and I thought we did that very well.
For the penalty the centre half clearly kicked my striker and you could hear the sound of the boots being kicked so I thought the referee got it right, I thought Dylan was very honest early on about five minutes before that when he gets kicked again in the box and he tried to stay on his feet when possibly other people might have went down so I did think it was a penalty. I know Stenhousemuir will be disappointed not to have taken something from the game, I thought their performance was very good you can see they are a team fighting for their lives at the bottom of the league and they deserve huge credit for their performance today and made the game as competitive as it was.
Wednesday, March 01, 2017 1:45:00 PM
Jim Goodwin after Alloa ended East Fife’s 10 game unbeaten run in league
Really pleased obviously, I’m delighted to get three wins in a row, it’s been a long time since we had done that, we have to go back to the start of the season. You can see the boys are playing with a lot of confidence, I thought there were some fantastic passages of play, we weathered the storm early doors, I thought East Fife started the better team in the first ten minutes, but after that little spell they had, I thought we dominated the game for long periods. Delighted with the three goals, the quality of all three goals was excellent - the build up to the first one, the second one when Jordan and Dylan have a little one two in the middle of the park, Kevin makes a great forward run and strike and the third one, I was delighted for Jamie because he has been a bit frustrated by the lack of game time but he comes on for the last half an hour and makes an impact and that’s what we want from the substitutes and that’s what we want from the squad. I’m a very lucky manager to have the strength in depth I have and to be able to call on guys like that to come on and make the kind of impact that he did.
I hate singling out players but I thought my two centre backs were outstanding again , along with Calum Waters & Scott Taggart, the boys in the attacking areas get a lot of credit and it will be their pictures which always are seen in the papers, but the job that the boys at the back do is absolutely immense, they are extremely brave they defend their box well, they are so desperate to keep a clean sheet they are even putting their bodies on the line at 3-0, when other teams might switch off, our keeper makes a fantastic save with three minutes to go and he is another player who deserves special mention because he couldn’t get into the team for love or money because Neil Parry was in such good form, Neil gets injured and I’m in the fortune position that I can call on my second choice keeper who would probably be a number one at any other club.
We are in a great position just now I don’t want to get to carried away, we need to try and keep our feet on the ground, we haven’t achieved anything yet but it is great to be able to apply pressure on Livingston, the kind of pressure I spoke about at the beginning of the week and it takes us into Saturday’s game with a lot confidence.
Craig McDowall has went into the team and been fantastic that’s a couple of clean sheets he has had as well, that’s the fortunate position I am in and it certainly gives us something to think about, he’s in just now and he will keep the jersey and will play again on Saturday.
Every game is just as important as the last and we try not to get too carried away and try and take each game as it comes. Let’s get the tactics right for Saturday, the pitch is not ideal I think by all accounts it is pretty boggy so that is something we will need to take into consideration, it won’t allow us to play the kind of football we enjoy, we will adapt and Brechin City will be another very tough opponent, they have had a great result tonight defeating Queen’s Park 3-1, so we are well aware of how difficult that task will be as well, but we are looking forward to it the boys are confident and in a great frame of mind prior to the game.
Sunday, February 26, 2017 2:39:45 PM
Jim Goodwin after victory over Airdrieonians
It was a great performance, we started the game really well and went two goals up and it could have been three or four having had a couple of one on one’s but we then dropped of the game a little bit and found ourselves getting a little too deep and Airdrie came back into the game in the first half but overall very pleased that we were able to follow up the good performance and result last week at Hampden Park against Queen’s Park, it was another huge three points and a good victory against a good Airdrie side.
We spoke about our starts to games a few weeks ago, when we were gifting teams one goal of a start and now we have managed to turn that corner, defensively we have been fantastic in the last four or five weeks with big Andy Graham & Frank McKeown immense but getting the first goal in the game was huge it’s really important and gives the lads a lot of confidence. Big Andy Graham was on a hat-trick, we were talking about it on the bench, if we got a penalty would he take it? The big man was outstanding it would have been very easy at his first goal just to lash at it but he was very calm and composed and he just lifted it over the keeper into the net from a couple of yards out, we had been working hard on corners at training, the quality of the deliveries we get from Calum Waters and Jordan Kirkpatrick on that particular occasion a great ball, a fantastic run and great header, these are the things we work hard on and can control, I thought the boys were excellent and their management of the game towards the end in the last ten/fifteen minutes when they saw the game out, killed it which was brilliant.
Airdrie are a very good team and a full time team, they clearly work hard during the week on counter attacking teams and they were very brave, Mark Wilson deserves a lot of credit because he sets his team up as an attacking side. We spoke about it before the game and during the week, when we are attacking that is when we will be at our most vulnerable defensively and I think you saw that today, they allowed our front four to stay up the park and when we lose possession in their final third then they break on you at pace they have good players in Adam Brown, Iain Russell and Andy Ryan - they have good energy and pace. They were always going to have a spell in the game and at that moment we just had to regroup and get the two full backs in nice and narrow, midfielders drop off the game and just see it out and we did that.
At half-time with our noses in front we made a tactical change and I was really pleased with Stevie Hetherington when he went on, Greig Spence was obviously disappointed but he realised why we made the decision and I think it was justified with the three points. I explained to Greig when we were going up the tunnel at half-time, we couldn’t continue in the second half the way we ended the first half it was as simple as that, we were getting over run in the middle of the park and they were causing us problems in the wider areas, so I went with five across the middle of the park to stop their full backs getting forward, they never got as much joy as they did at the end of the first half and Greig took it in the professional manner I expected him to be, he was disappointed he didn’t get another goal, he had a couple of opportunities but he will be back in on Tuesday.
Sunday, February 19, 2017 3:23:26 PM
Jim Goodwin after victory at Hampden Park
A great start and finish to the game, I am over the moon with the result, it probably wasn’t our best performance of the season, but the boys were terrific, we dug in at times. I thought we did better in the second half than we did in the first half and I’m really pleased with the clean sheet as well. We defended admirably throughout, Frank & Andy were outstanding, they defended everything that came into the box and nullified Queen’s Park if you like.
Great for Greig Spence to score the 8,000th SPFL goal, he is so clever around the box, Queen’s will be disappointed in the manner of the goal they conceded but Greig is always anticipating that type of chance, he is always one step ahead and I thought he took it well, sometimes in that type of situation you have too much time to think about it, but Greig showed real quality and that’s what he does, score goals and he has been terrific all season.
Jordan’s goal, late in the second half wasn’t a bad goal either! Indeed it is the type of goal he scores regularly in training and we are encouraging all the time to take that type of shoot on because we know he has that quality, I say that to all the front boys, I encourage them to go and be brave, it doesn’t matter if sometimes they go over the bar or goes wide but from time to time you get a little bit of magic like Jordan produced, I was right behind it and had a great view as soon as it left his boot I knew it was net bound, he is a top player.
The title is now Livingston’s to lose, it is fair to say, but you have to give credit to Livingston they have been fantastic and the most consistent team in the league up till now and rightly sit at the top of the table but we will never give up. We will keep going right till the end and try and put as much pressure on them as we can and hopefully close that gap.
We have a massive week coming up we have Airdrie & East Fife both at home Saturday, Tuesday then up to Glebe Park to face Brechin City the following Saturday. Two massive home games coming up, so we will look to carry on the momentum from today and look to be sitting in two weeks time in a really good position and hopefully Livingston might drop some points over this period. We had talked about how drawing matches had been killing us, when you look at the table we had drawn 6 of our last 12 matches, if we had turned a couple of these results into wins then it would look a lot better. We have goals in our team and always score but it is important to gain more clean sheets.
Sunday, February 05, 2017 5:03:52 PM
Jim Goodwin after draw with Livingston
We wanted to win the game and I thought in the first half we played well, Livingston score a decent goal, disappointed we didn’t stop the cross but it was a great header from the boy Mullen, can’t take anything away from that, but we just didn’t start in the second half and that was the disappointing thing, it was the same last week at Coatbridge and the week before against Peterhead - so that is something we need to address and get it sorted and we will talk about that during the week. However again, we showed fantastic character, the lads never give in, I don’t know how many times I have said that this season, they never throw the towel in and they keep going right to the last minute and I thought we were worthy of our goal near the end. We put a number of attacking players on the pitch, we gambled a little bit if you like and even when we had got the score back to 2-2 we were determined to go and get the winner, even then we had to be thankful for Calum Waters getting back and clearing a shot of the line and stop Livingston stealing it at the end.
Overall I was relatively pleased, I was delighted with the big man up front, Dylan Mackin, I thought he did great against two really aggressive centre half’s for a young twenty year old I thought he led the line really well, particularly in the first half when he deserved his goal, overall I thought he was excellent. In the first half the quality of balls to him was better which gave him more to time to hold and link the play but I don’t think we got to grips in the second half. We got a lot of joy in the wide areas in the first half with Calum Waters getting wide and forward. But credit to Livingston they work very hard, they are a very fit bunch and they don’t give you a lot of time on the ball - our boys matched them and went toe to toe with them and I don’t think there was a great deal between the teams, I’m really proud of the lads and their effort and we will be ready to go again.
Sunday, January 29, 2017 3:34:04 AM
Jim Goodwin after draw at Coatbridge
I think it probably was a fair result, I thought it was a game of two halves, we were the better team in the first half but credit to Albion Rovers they were the better team in the second half, they put us under a lot of pressure. The game got a little bit stretched for my liking to be honest with you, I didn’t think we managed the game well enough in the second half, we allowed Albion Rovers the opportunity to break on us on numerous occasions, I tried to make changes to stem that but I think it is a good point in the end to be honest with you, although the draws are killing us, I think on the way the game was going in the second half I think it was a decent point.
Disappointed after going in front, it was the first time we have went ahead in a game for a wee while so we were sitting at half-time delighted to be a goal up, but getting clean sheets are massive as well, it was a good goal from Albion Rovers point of view but disappointed with our marking. It was a decent ball in around our near post but I would need to see it back, the lads dug in which they had to do at the end because Albion Rovers were throwing everything at us that’s why I think it was a valuable point in the end.
Andy Wilson was excellent in goal, I was delighted with him I had every confidence in him before the game, he trains with the first team every week and he is certainly a fantastic prospect in the future, he is a decent size he is still growing he is only a young 18 year old lad, but his kicking and distribution and he came for one in the second half and punched it clear, he has a great temperament as well and he is quite a laid back guy so I was reluctant to go out and get another goalkeeper when I knew the quality of Andy so delighted for him really pleased just disappointed we couldn’t get him a clean sheet which I thought his performance deserved.
Adding Dylan Mackin to our squad in midweek , a another player I was delighted to bring to the club, that is probably us done now in the January transfer window, I don’t need any more in and I don’t really want to lose anyone, however we might try to get one or two of the young boys out on loan to try and get them some senior experience, I don’t want to have them sitting on the bench and not getting any game time, so if we can get one or two away to the right clubs we consider that but delighted to get Dylan, Frank and Stefan in and hopefully Stefan’s back is not too bad after taking a sore one today, I think the three additions we have made have certainly improved us and that was always our aim looking for boys to kick us on at this important part of the season.
Next Saturday’s match against Livingston is huge, they are all big games there is no easy games in this league we were well aware of how difficult a task it was going to be today against a good Albion Rovers side and Livingston will be no different they are top of the table for a reason, they have a very good team but it’s a game we have to go and win it’s as simple as that.
Sunday, January 22, 2017 4:13:20 AM
Jim Goodwin after Scottish Cup defeat
We are disappointed, we knew the kind of threat Dunfermline would have, we spoke about during the week how dangerous they are on the break, it was quite an end to end game but goals change games. It’s an old cliché again - the first goal was disappointing, Gavin Reilly gets the space to run, Neil Parry makes a great save but unfortunately it falls out to Nicky Clark who managed to tuck it away, losing the second goal right on half-time was a bit of a killer blow. Two nil down at half-time we talked about the next goal being important to get back in the game but if Dunfermline were to get it, it would be an uphill task, from their point of view Gavin Reilly did well and Joe Cardle made a great run of him and it was a hell of a strike, nothing you could do with that one.
As always this team has shown in past weeks when we go behind they never give in and they deserve a lot of credit for keeping going right to the end, we scored a couple of half decent goals ourselves but unfortunately ran out of time at the end. You hope when you make substitutions they can make an impact and Stefan had a positive impact, when you sign players you hope that they do well and Frank McKeown out other new signing, goes and gets “Man of the Match” and Stefan comes on and scores so that’s the impact we are hoping from the new signings, just disappointed for them that they weren’t on the winning side in the game.
The cup competitions are great and we have already been to two Quarter-Finals this season we would have liked to go a bit further, we fancied ourselves when the draw was made but credit to Dunfermline and we wish them well in the next round now our made focus is on the league which was our sole ambition at the start of this season we want to get out of this league by hook or by crook.
Saturday, January 14, 2017 6:20:41 PM
Jim Goodwin after home defeat to Peterhead
It was a day of frustration, the first half was the best we have played in weeks, we dominated possession, we were getting in behind them, Kevin Cawley was making some great runs, we played well, we just didn’t trouble their goalkeeper enough, that is what we spoke about at half-time, to get some shots away - we dominated the game, we were definitely the best team but it counts for nothing it’s the result that matters, we have dropped points and its back to the drawing board unfortunately.
We spoke about the Livingston game being off today and the chance to claw back some points, we spoke about trying to put a bit of pressure on them, in the end I don’t think it was a lack of bottle or anything like that playing on their mind, I don’t think that was the case. We had well over 60% of the possession, we had 16 corners they had 1 or 2, we had 12 shots they had 2, so if you look at the stats from the game we were the better team by a mile, but the fact of the matter is Peterhead got a sloppy goal from our point of view, the centre half gets caught under the ball, it’s a crap goal they were living off our mistakes but once they got that goal in front it gave them something to hang on to and I thought in fairness to them I thought they saw out the game reasonably well, they dropped deep they got ten men behind the ball, we threw everything at them and even pushed Andy Graham up front in the last 15 minutes. We had a number of opportunities as well, it just wasn’t our day!
We are really disappointed, we were terrible last week down at Stranraer and we came away with a 2-1 win, we played really well today and end the day with nothing, that’s the league we are in unfortunately, we just need to pick ourselves up. We have a good game against Dunfermline to look forward to next week, they are on a decent run, we will be underdogs going into the match but it’s a game we fancy ourselves in, we believe we can progress in the competition, the cup is great but the league is our bread & butter and that’s the one we want, therefore we are really disappointed we could not put a bit of pressure on Livingston tonight.
Saturday, January 07, 2017 7:38:38 PM
Jim Goodwin after victory at Stair Park
Absolutely delighted, over the moon, we have played a lot better this season and lost or drew games, but I’m not going to stand here and say we played fantastic, we didn’t, it was there for everyone to see but I’m just so pleased for the boys they never know when they are beat, they never give in, they are a credit to themselves, they really are. From day one when I came in at the start in the summer as a player, I was blown away by their attitude, commitment and the way they train, they really are a fantastic group of boys. Really proud of them tonight because it would have been really easy to throw the towel in after half an hour, we could have been two or three nil down, but we didn’t kept ourselves in the game and in the second half I thought we did better.
We got to grips with their shape and made our own shape better and changed ours, in the end of the day it is a fantastic three points and that’s all that matters. Stranraer dominated possession, especially in the first half there is no doubt of that, we were camped in our own half but saying that I can’t recall Neil Parry having too many saves to make, they had a number of corners. I thought Andy Graham and Jason Marr were terrific, Andy particular was putting his body on the line and had a great clearance near the end but I don’t like singling out any individual players because the overall team effort and commitment was immense. We had Greig Spence dropping out to right wing for the last five or ten minutes to see the game out. The way we managed the game at the end to make sure we did walk away with the three points was fantastic.
Stranraer will be frustrated they never killed the game off, for all the possession they had I don’t think they had any clear cut chances and at only 1-0 down you are always in the game. The next goal was always going to be vital and we knew if we got the next goal we could go on and win the game - that’s the kind of belief we have in this group, we always score and recently we have had to come from a goal down and we had to do that again but I think that is testament to the boys. I have been involved in a number of teams in my career who at 1-0 down would not come back - these lads don’t they are fantastic. Scoring the second goal just after Stranraer had lost the equaliser, you heard their fans and the Stranraer players had went down, they were anxious and all of a sudden it was a different ball game. We kept our foot on the gas and saw the game out, we came here to win.
Fantastic two wins back to back, up to second in the League table a fantastic start to the New Year but we know how difficult every fixture is in this league, Stranraer are a decent side who are at the wrong end of the table for whatever reason but we respect every team we play, however we believe if we hit the standards we are capable of then we are as good a match for anyone.
We have been working really hard for the past six weeks trying to see who is available in this transfer window but every club is doing the same, we are all fishing in the same pond and we are trying to make sure we get the right players, they need to be of the right character and mindset, I will not take any gambles on bad eggs or whatever, we have two or three lined up and hope to have news later next week.