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    Jim Goodwin at Station Park 

    Saturday, December 09, 2017 5:06:12 PM

    Jim Goodwin after victory at Forfar

    In the last couple of games we had been disappointed not to pick up any points albeit against two very good sides, I thought we put a lot into both games, so today’s result was the perfect reaction, we knew how difficult it was going to be, I thought Forfar were the better team in the first half, I thought we rode our luck at times especially when they smashed a shot of the crossbar. However in the second half we were a lot better and controlled the majority of it, a very professional performance and delighted that big Kris was able to get a couple of goals.

    We had to shuffle the pack again today, Iain Flannigan who is a big player for us was out with a virus, hopefully he will be available next week but we have players in the squad who can come in and they don’t weaken the side and I thought big Kris came in and was excellent his attitude even when he has been out of the team has been spot on, he is a great guy really well liked in the dressing room, so the boys are over the moon that he managed to be the match winner for us today.

    Wee PJ was excellent at the first goal, one on one situations we fancy him against anyone, I felt that was one thing we mentioned at half time, the right back gets booked early doors and I felt we should have been feeding PJ the ball more and we didn’t, but second half we isolated him out there on one v. one situations, he does that really well, at times he wants to come in the park but we keep trying to encourage him to go on the outside, once he is past the defender it is very hard to catch him, he has been excellent since he has come in and we will look to extend that loan period in January once that comes to an end.

    Alan Cook going back to Stenhousemuir is a deal which hopefully will work out for both parties, Alan came here to play and it hasn’t quite worked out, he has been frustrated with the lack of match time in games and I don’t want to stand in a players way who has been given the opportunity to go and play regular first team football, he had done well for Stenhousemuir last year, he is well liked over there, I had a good discussion with Brown Ferguson and it suits everyone involved and “Cookie” getting back playing is important to him., the initial period is 28 days emergency loan but the agreement is there for them to extend it until the end of the season so I expect him to be a Stenhousemuir player until the end of the season.

     

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin at Starks Park 

    Saturday, December 02, 2017 5:38:04 PM

    Jim Goodwin at Starks Park

    Very disappointed with the end result, the first half I thought we played really well, the second half I don’t think we started we couldn’t get out of our own half for the first fifteen minutes in the second half.

    I thought we played great in the first half, dominated the game without really creating any real clear cut chances. I knew that Barry would be looking for a reaction from his players at the start of the second half, we spoke about that at half-time, to expect them to come out all guns blazing and they did, that didn’t surprise us but the first goal for me was so disappointing, to have defended as well as we have, to concede a goal so soft - the cross comes in but we have to deal with it, Greig Spence is free two yards from goal with a simple header for him. We highlighted these things during the week and unfortunately we weren’t able to snuff it out. Goals change games I know it is an old cliché but it is a fact, we kept going right until the end, I felt if we had made it 2-1 earlier in the game and given us a bit more time on the clock it might have given us a better chance to take something from the game.

    Very disappointed to lose the last two games, I think we have played well in both games but yet we have nothing to show for it, everybody who wasn’t here does care how well we might have played they just look at the end result and we have now picked up no points in our last two games and I feel as if we deserved to have a couple at least.

    PJ was booked just before half-time for simulation, I don’t think there was enough contact for to warrant a penalty, there was a possible coming together, I don’t think it was a dive, I understand why the referee has booked him, if he deemed it was that way but it is not something we encourage and the wee man is so quick in and around the box the slightest touch could set him off balance but it is not one we will fall out over.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin after defeat to Ayr 

    Saturday, November 25, 2017 4:35:52 PM

    Jim Goodwin after defeat to leaders Ayr United

    It was tough to take, losing a late goal in any game is a sickner but particularly in one so important, and we worked ever so hard in the second half to get ourselves back into the game and lost the game in practically the last kick of the ball. Really gutted for the players because they put an awful lot into the game, the first goal against us I felt, Lawrence Shankland is clever he uses his body well, when the centre half is in the air and he gets the slightest nudge it puts him off and he couldn’t go and win the header - clever from their point of view but I thought it was a free kick. We hit the post at 1-1 through Kevin Cawley, I know they hit the crossbar a couple of times, we had chances in the first half, one cleared off the line, so I think it was a really entertaining game from a neutral aspect. I think both teams really tried to play and having a go, obviously it did not go our way today and we are disappointed. It would have been a big point, I honestly don’t think we did enough to win, it would have been a great point particularly for our play in the second half, devastated be honest.  

    We have won our last five games so it was a great run to be on, I said that to the players they can take a lot of pride and credit for that, they weren’t easy games but it allowed us to claw ourselves back into contention, to maintain that run today would have been nice, we wanted all three points but if we could have taken a point at the end I would have been satisfied.

    I was sent to the stand because I had a disagreement with the referee about the foul throw, it was nothing as far as I was concerned, I thought it was pathetic it happens every week, the ball goes out of play in one area and the players always try and steal four or five yards and that’s what Callum Crane done in our instance, but if you are going to start giving foul throws for that, then there will be ten or twelve foul throws per game, so I disagreed with his decision, the game actually went on for another two or three minutes and I was quite happy it was done, but then he comes marching over and sends me to the stand which was disappointing because I never had any issue with the officials and it is the first time in my managerial career that I have been sent up to the stand and it’s not something I thought would happen to be honest with you, but some referees you just can’t talk and that’s unfortunately what the wee man was like today.

    We would like to get back to winning ways against Raith Rovers next week, it’s a great game for us to go into, we were huge underdogs today, nobody gave us a hope in hell of getting anything today, everybody expected Ayr to come here and win and wipe the floor with us but I think my guys gave a great account of themselves again, it took a last minute equaliser down at Somerset Park and it has taken a last minute winner today to beat us, so if Ayr are the best team in the league and we can go toe to toe with them in both games then I think it shows how good a team we can be, we should take great pride in that and that’s why we can look forward to the game against Raith Rovers next week because in the first game of the season at the indodrill it took a last minute goal for Raith Rovers to deny us taking all three points that day. We have a great group of players, we will dust ourselves down and get back to business at training on Tuesday night and prepare as we always do for another difficult game next week.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin at Ochilview 

    Sunday, November 19, 2017 1:18:57 PM

    Jim Goodwin after cup victory over Stenhousemuir

    We always knew today was going to be a difficult match and that’s exactly how it turned out, we gave Stenhousemuir the respect we felt they deserved, obviously they have been doing very well in their own league you can see they have some very good footballers in their team, but I have to say I was disappointed with the way we started and I thought we just let the first half pass us by, that’s taking nothing away from Stenhousemuir who were the better team in the first half, but I thought in the second half we were the better team, I felt we were the team on the ascendancy although they finished the game strongly, they put bodies up front and created one or two chances. We rode our luck at times today, we definitely did, but it’s a cup tie at the end of the day and all that matters is being in the hat on Monday.

    Great for Craig Malcolm to get his two goals today, that’s four goals in last four games for him, it was always going to be difficult for us to replace Greig Spence at the end of last season, we had identified Craig Malcolm long before the end of last season as he had scored a number of goals for Stranraer. Unfortunately for us he picked up an injury in the Betfred Cup Tie against Ross County in the opening game of this season and it took him a wee while to get over that and then when he did come back in takes weeks to get fit again, these things don’t happen overnight but now you are starting to see the Craig Malcolm which attracted us to bring him to the club. He is in the right place more often than not, I thought his first goal in particular he was really brave to put himself in there and get the touch that he did from a great ball from Stevie Hetherington, and the second goal is a fantastic delivery from Iain Flannigan, it was all about the delivery we had great quality coming into the box and again Craig was in the right place.

    Stenhousemuir will be disappointed, I thought Brown Ferguson’s team were excellent and the game could have went either way, I’m just grateful it went our way.

     

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin at Cliftonhill 

    Saturday, November 11, 2017 5:59:11 PM

    Jim Goodwin after victory at Cliftonhill

    We came here with a game plan today, we knew the pitch wouldn’t be conducive to the way we would want to play, I think the pitch is a leveller it doesn’t suit either team and it is very hard to play the type of game we would like on it, I think Albion Rovers themselves found it difficult. However, we played the conditions very well and the clean sheet was massive, we knew we would get opportunities - the first goal was a great goal from our point of view, a great ball in from Andy Graham cut back to “Flanny” and it was a great finish, he made it look a lot easier than it actually was especially how the balls were bobbling on the pitch and get such a good connection as he did.

    Yes, we would have liked the second goal to come a wee bit earlier than it did, but in fairness to Albion Rovers they were the better team in the second half, there was no doubt about that, but at the same time they had a lot of possession but I thought our shape was good, all their possession was in front of us, they never really hurt us in behind and that was part of our game plan we had worked hard on during the week, which the players carried out and deserve great credit for that.

    After the first nine games we hadn’t been good enough and it was a bit of a reality check, we sat down and tried to analysis where we had been going wrong and how we could do better, it was plainly obvious to us - we had to defend better and score more goals, I know it sounds as simple as that and easy, but it is all about the players, it is easy for me to pick formations and tactics and do sessions in training, but it is down to the players to go out on the pitch and for the last four or five weeks the players have been absolutely excellent and I am really pleased they are getting their rewards which they deserve.

    I don’t like pointing out just our goalkeeper and our back four because there is an awful lot more to defending than just that part of the team; the guys in front of them work tirelessly, Kevin Cawley never stops running, PJ is doing a great job for the team and there are players doing jobs which don’t come natural to them. We identified one or two of their players who we knew we had to be aware of and gave jobs to certain individuals in our team and I thought they took on the responsibility and did their jobs brilliantly and they deserve huge credit for that.

    It’s been a great start to the second quarter, four victories and three shut outs but we must keep our feet on the ground, we have done great to get ourselves back into a good position but its only November, I will not get carried away.

    Jim Goodwin 

    Jim Goodwin after defeating Airdrie 

    Saturday, November 04, 2017 3:13:51 PM

    Jim Goodwin after defeating Airdrieonians

    We are over the moon at the moment with the form that we are in, three straight wins, I thought we played some really good football today and on another day we could have scored another two or three goals, their keeper made a great save from PJ Crossan when his shot looked to be heading for the top corner of the net, if Iain Flannigan had played a better ball across the face of the goal to Kris Renton and we had another great opportunity with the penalty, but overall very pleased from back to front, we looked solid again at the back, we gave them one opportunity in the second half where Neil Parry had to make a crucial save on a one v. one situation, it would have been a heartbreaker if they had equalised because I thought we were well on top throughout the game and delighted to carry on the momentum. Getting back to back clean sheets is so important, because we work hard on them defending in training though the week.

    Consistency is important at any level, to go and be able to put three wins back to back and in the manner we have done beating East Fife here 4-1, then went to Hampden last weekend and scored four goals and kept a clean sheet and then today winning 1-0 against very difficult opposition. Airdrie have always been a hard team to play against anytime I have played against them and since I have been at Alloa they continue to be tight games - they beat us earlier in the season at their place deservedly so but I thought we deserved to win the game today.

    There is no point in changing a winning side, it is always hard to do so, we do have Daryll Meggatt fit on the bench again but Scott Taggart and Andy Graham have been outstanding in the back line together and Jon Robertson has filled in at right back, I have spoke to “Robbo” about the situation, he would rather play in midfield but enjoys playing right back as well. Callum Crane has really come on to his game and again was terrific because the boy Scott Stewart is a very good opponent and I knew he would have to be on our game to watch him today and I thought Callum did a terrific job up against him. I was delighted for Craig Malcolm to score again this week, his goal being the winner, PJ was excellent again, I could go right through the team there wasn’t one below par performance.

    I would like however to give a special mention to Stevie Hetherington, that’s as good a performance from a central midfielder, particularly in the second half he was everywhere, picked up every second ball, not only that but his range of passing when he had possession, I can’t remember him getting beaten or giving the ball away too many times, he stopped Airdrie counter attacking on us, delighted for Stevie and all my players, even Kris Renton ho came on for the last fifteen minutes played a vital part, so delighted with the group of players we have at the club, let’s just carry it on.

    It is important that we don’t get carried away and think too far down the line, just keep doing what we are doing and take each game as they come week by week. Next week at Cliftonhill will be another difficult game, Albion Rovers hammered us here 5 - 2, so we certainly owe them one, so it would be nice to go and reverse the scoreline.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin at Hampden 

    Saturday, October 28, 2017 5:52:36 PM

    Jim Goodwin after victory at Hampden

    Delighted from start to finish the lads were excellent, the manner of the goals as well, there were some really good goals, delighted for PJ, two goals back to back for the wee man, it was also good for Craig Malcolm to score an important goal for himself as well.  It was a really professional performance, we knew we would have the majority of the ball and it was just a matter of how we dealt with that. We were patient in our build up, we spoke about moving the ball a bit quicker at half-time but from start to finish I thought we credited the win.

    People will look at the score line and believe it is one of best performances of the season and it is up there but no game is a walk in the park - Gus always has his teams organised and hard to beat, you don’t just turn up and play that way the players deserve great credit, they trained well during the week, we knew we would have to be at our best to get the result, the first goal is so important and vital regardless of what level you are playing at, we have struggled to get that in recent weeks, so it was really pleasing to get ahead today and build on it, I thought we were very solid at the back in defence, which is pleasing especially gaining a clean sheet.

    I knew Gus would get fired into his boys at half-time and I knew they would give a reaction but I thought we managed that part of the game particularly well and so it through and as soon as we get the second goal you could see it taking the wind out of their sails. The deliveries from Iain Flannigan at set pieces from dead balls, he is on a par with the boys at the top level of the game, it was all about the delivery and quality of the balls into the box, it doesn’t matter how big the lads are going into box, if the quality is not great you will never score, Iain very rarely lets you down - the second delivery especially for Daryll Meggatt’s goal, as a defender it is impossible to defend against such was quality of ball into the box.

    I do not like picking out individuals because all fourteen of the players used today played their part, I even had to list myself today, squad we are not as healthy as I would like and again we had to play some guys out of position but the adapt because that’s what good players do.

    At this stage in the season the table doesn’t bother me, we have set ourselves targets, we know where we need to be points wise and come January if we are to be serious about competing at the top of the table which is where this group of players what to be, we concentrate on our own job but I am delighted with our start to the second quarter - two wins out of two but we will have another difficult game next Saturday against Airdrie.

    Jim Goodwin

     

    Jim Goodwin after 4-1 victory 

    Monday, October 23, 2017 4:52:26 PM

    Jim Goodwin after victory over East Fife

    Over the moon I thought it was a terrific performance, to go a goal down again was disappointing but great character, I know that is one thing which has never been questioned, I know we haven’t picked up the results that has been required in the first quarter but commitment and effort was not things which I could question the lads. I see the work they put in on a Tuesday and Thursday night at training and I was just delighted we were able to go and show our home fans in particular because they have obviously not been happy, I believe, so delighted they could go and put on a good performance and I think that was the most pleasing thing. We spoke about it during the week - about not being anxious and not been tense and uptight, I think we set up a very attacking formation to go and play the way we think the game should be played. It would be very easy to go defensive and play 4 - 5 - 1 today but we didn’t we went and took the game to East Fife and I thought we got our just rewards.

    We had to make changes due to injuries, Jon Robertson had to drop back to right back, Scott Taggart had to go in at left centre half and I thought he had “A Cigar out all day” , they are just good players and you can ask them to play anywhere and they will do a job for you, but I thought they were exceptional, if a couple of my centre halves decide to drag themselves of the treatment table this week they will probably struggle to get back to be honest with you, why would change that?

    That was exactly what we had been asking for weeks, we looked solid, I felt in weeks gone by we looked vulnerable  when we were attacking in particular when we were very open, but we spoke about that and worked hard during the week, it is the most comfortable I have felt for a number of weeks, even going a goal down I didn’t feel like we wouldn’t get our way back into the game. The first goal in particular for me to get us back level, if you watched the build up to the goal a lot of people just remember the finish but if you look at where the goal starts from, it started from Neil Parry who rolled it to the centre half and there were 8 or 9 passes before the goal was scored , try and find me a better goal than that this weekend!

    PJ Crossan was rewarded with his first goal for the club, the wee mans did great he has worked hard he has worked his socks off he has given us a different dimension to the team he gives us that bit of pace in behind he is a terrific young talent with great potential, Celtic were kind enough to loan him to us, I have a good relationship with some of the guys there Chris McCart, Tommy McIntyre and they understand the type of football we try and play, they understand the demands I put on the boys at training during the week and they knew by allowing him to come here we wouldn’t allow his standards to drop he is a terrific kid and gives you his all just really pleased that he been on the winning side this week because we have struggled in weeks gone by.

    We have had our bad spell and that’s it done now, I said to the lads during the week at the end of every quarter and I’m sure I’m not the only manager who does it, we sit down and analyze the first quarter and we looked at the goals for and goals against and our points return wasn’t good enough, just delighted we were able to get 3 points towards our second quarter target and if we play like that more often we will be absolutely fine, I’m certainly not looking over my shoulder, we are a very positive group and we believe there is still more to come and we have our eyes set for competing at the top end of the table there is a lot of football to be played between now and the end of the season so people shouldn’t get to carried away.

    Jim Goodwin    

    Jim Goodwin at Stair Park 

    Sunday, October 15, 2017 8:00:43 AM

    Jim Goodwin at Stair Park, Stranraer

    Obviously disappointed, I didn’t think there was much in the game up until the first goal, we said at half time the first goal was going to be huge and more often than not in our league that tends to be the case. Really disappointed with the defending, I thought we could have done a whole lot better, we seemed to be all over the place and one ball over the top is what killed us, but a great finish from Ryan Wallace but it was avoidable from our point of view. I don’t mind teams scoring goals where they carve you open, good quality goals but I don’t think that was a good quality goal from our point of view. He might have been half a yard offside but I think it was the fact we were disjointed at the back in the back four, three of the boys were up and one was too deep. We spoke before the game about not giving them the space to run into because we knew what they would want to do, we know how they play, looking for balls in behind because they have boys who are quick, as a back four we needed to deny them that space and we didn’t do it, but a great finish from the lad.

    At 1-0 with fifteen minutes to go I made some changes to try and get us just back in the game, we went 3-4-3 but then again Jamie Hamill had too much space to run into, it’s a learning curve for wee Adam because he has to do his defensive responsibilities as well - for whatever reason we just don’t seem to be getting any breaks just now. We need to create our own luck, we need to keep going, it’s a funny league it’s the kind of league if you can put two or three wins back to back all of a sudden you will be climbing up the table again but our current form hasn’t been good enough and that’s absolutely clear and I take full responsibility for that.

    You can’t feel sorry for yourselves, we are disappointed, I believe in the group of players we have, we have players now coming back after injury and once we get everybody up to speed I’m sure our luck will turn, I look at other teams squads and we are right up there on paper but it doesn’t work like that, at the moment we need to do more collectively, myself included we are all in this together and the only way we will turn the corner is by working hard during the week and not feeling sorry for ourselves because we will have another tough game coming up next weekend so we need to dust ourselves down and go again on Tuesday and hopefully our luck will change.

    This form that we are in at the moment cannot continue, that is the first quarter out of the way and we are sitting on nine points from nine games , I’m not stupid, we sit and analysis’ things including myself and my decisions, tactics and training, I do that more than anybody and I am my own worst critic and I know our return of points in the first quarter is not nearly good enough and we are going to half to double that next quarter if we are to have any aspirations of getting into the play-offs.

    We appear to be lacking a bit of confidence at the moment due to some bad form but I believe we are one result from turning the corner, it’s as simple as that.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin at Gayfield 

    Sunday, October 01, 2017 12:43:05 PM

    Jim Goodwin at Gayfield

    At the end of the day a draw was probably a fair result, their keeper has made a couple of great saves, we seem to be hitting keepers with form at the moment, the Albion Rovers boy last week made three or four great saves and today again the Arbroath keeper has made a couple of great saves - a good save from the penalty and the one late in the second half when he made a great double save from Jon Robertson’s shot and PJ Crossan effort blocked, but Arbroath had their chances as well and Neilly had to make a good save so from a neutral point of view it was certainly end to end football. It was a good reaction from my point of view after conceding five goals last week, I thought we looked more defensively solid today I thought we defended the box relatively well.

    I was pleased with PJ Crossan making such an impact for a young guy, he was making his first start for us and he can be pleased. I think their keeper makes a good save from Scott Taggart’s penalty, he took it well and had plenty of pace on the ball but I think the boy read it and made a great save with a strong arm and then blocked Kris effort with the rebound. You then think it’s not our day and then we got a good bit of luck with the own goal, but if the penalty had went in it could have been a different game.

    At the Arbroath penalty, I thought it was a penalty at the time, sometimes you get them sometimes you don’t, I think Jon got caught on the wrong side of their player, I don’t think he deliberately pulled him down but the guy runs across you and inevitably feet tangle and the referee got that one right.

    Arbroath are a good team on a very good run they beat Stranraer 6-2 last week away from home, they are a very good side with good options to come off the bench, our bench was struggling with Craig Malcolm nursing a sore ankle, Garry Fleming did his hamstring in the warm up, still missing Andy Graham, I don’t want to make excuses but we are looking forward to the International break and give us a chance to recharge the batteries and rehabilitation and looking to have a more fit squad for our trip to Stranraer.

    Jim Goodwin

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