I was very pleased with Saturday’s result. Ultimately you want to be in the next round and I thought we did that in style. We played some really good stuff and some of the goals we scored were excellent so i was very pleased with the overall performance.
When we were at Turriff ten days ago we created a lot of chances and didn’t take them, so it was good to see us put a few away and we could have had a few more again. It’s good that we are creating chances and you could see the strength in depth we have with Gary McGowan coming off the bench and getting his name on the score sheet as well.
Darryn Kelly was brought straight into the team on Saturday what with our defensive injuries and I thought his experience would be an asset. He managed the game well and it was good for Michael to have him alongside. I don’t think Turriff caused us too many problems. I still don’t know what the penalty was given for but the key thing was we reacted well to the situation and some of our play leading up to the own goal and Gary’s goal was excellent.
Darryn’s signing provides us with defensive options as he’s comfortable both in central defence and full back. We have said before that we are quite light defensively. Our back four here ten days ago emphasised that when we had three midfielders in defence. With current injuries to Craig McKeown, Johnny Crawford and Stuart Smith, Darryn’s arrival is a boost to our defensive options. He has quality and experience and ultimately he has won a lot of trophies at this level. It’s the same with Daniel Park as we want that winning mentality within the squad.
I feel we now have a squad capable of challenging on numerous fronts. We are still in three cup competitions as well as the Scottish Cup, which we want a run in, as well as maintaining a challenge in the league. To maintain that challenge we need a squad of quality players which we’ve got. It will be frustrating at times for certain boys but ultimately you have to look at the bigger picture. We’re only in September so there is a long way to go and a lot of football to be played so there will be injuries and suspensions Taking that into consideration we need to make sure that everyone in the squad is ready when called upon.
On the injury front Johnny Crawford has now had a scan on his neck injury and the diagnosis seems to be rest. We can’t put a time frame on a return but hopefully it’s not too long. Johnny did a bit of running last week and possibly aggravated the injury. It’s frustrating for him as a player as I’ve done it many times myself; you come back too early because you’re frustrated. It’s the hardest thing to be patient with an injury but hopefully it won’t be too long before we see him back in action.
Craig McKeown’s calf injury isn’t as bad as we first feared so hopefully he will only be side lined for a couple of weeks. Stuart Smith has also been carrying a knock on his ankle from about a month ago. To be fair to him he played on with it, which initially didn’t help, but he’s fully fit again. I have to say that Kieran has come in at full back and performed excellently. No doubt being on the bench is hard for Stuart but his attitude is spot on, I can’t complain about how he goes about his business. It’s not nice for him as he has been a mainstay for the team for a number of years, but ultimately he’ll get his place back if he is patient.
We’ve got our wish from the Scottish Cup draw with a home tie. We spoke before the game about a cup run being enjoyable the entire club, players, committee as well as supporters. So it was vitally important we got into the second round on Saturday.