Due to the gaffer’s on-going Tax Evasion court case, we haven’t been able to speak to him as often as we’d have liked, but he did finally agree to meet me and we spoke about our last game which provided a thrilling win.
So gaff, it’s been a while since that terrific 4-3 win, can you put into words your feelings after their 3rd goal, and after our 4th goal?
I thought that after we scored our 3rd goal, it would have been it but then they scored a great goal to equalise and I thought we had lost the opportunity to take the 3 points after dominating the second half. But I must say that I admire the attitude of my players for not giving up and still going for the win. Both our 3rd and 4th goals were class. Very calm finishing from Michael and Maurice to slot the ball away in the back of the net… the whole bench and I went crazy when Mo scored. It was a rollercoaster of emotions… frustration at our lacklustre performance in the 1st half, then relief when we went ahead and started playing our game and then utter joy when we finally won! Only Boca can do that in 90 minutes!
Did you feel the game had slipped once they equalised with 89 minutes on the clock?
I really did feel that we had lost the chance to get those crucial 3 points. After fighting back and going ahead with a great 2nd half display, I felt it would’ve been a cruel way to end the game. Although I do have to give Sporting Glacis credit for the desire and fight in them when playing with 10 men for most of the match. They really took the game to us, despite having lost a player. But like I mentioned before, we did well to turn the game around and played great in general. In the end, I was extatic that we got the win and the 3 points to keep us in touching distance with the top teams in our League.
2-1 down at half time, was your team talk more of a hairdryer type talk or were you more sympathetic with the players?
Thinking back, it was more of a hairdryer type talk. I really felt we weren’t playing as well as we could have and definitely should have. At times, it looked like we were the ones playing with 10 men. To then go down was a big blow and that should’ve sparked a reaction, but it wasn’t the one I wanted. It seemed as if it was the 90th minute and we needed a goal desperately. We weren’t playing as we know we can do, and we were just rushing our passes, not thinking of where the ball was actually going. So I felt that I had to wake them up and make sure it was in their heads that we couldn’t lose this match, but we couldn’t carry on playing like we were if we wanted to take away anything from it. I’d rather not have to get like that with them if I’m honest. They need to remember that they have the quality and the character to play well… they just need more confidence and belief in themselves.
What did you make of the sending off and will you be trying to get Crawford to go up for more corners and set pieces?
I felt the sending off was the correct decision. It was a clear handball, reminiscent of Luis Suarez (CUNT) at the World Cup against Ghana. I’m sure Stuart must’ve been slightly upset that it didn’t go in so he could claim the goal, but it was a great header and practically half a goal. I give my players freedom for corners and set pieces. If they feel confident enough to get into those dangerous positions and take advantage of them, it will be more than welcome. So if Stuart does feel up to the challenge, which I’m sure he will after coming so close to getting a goal, I encourage him to get up more.
When our 2nd penalty was missed, did you fear the worst possible result as we were trailing?
Not really. I knew that we still had time to turn it around, we just had to concentrate on playing our game and forget what the score was. I felt we did that brilliantly. Heads could’ve gone down after that miss, but it takes a lot of heart and character to do what they did. Usually teams panic when going behind but my players did well to control the game and the pressure of being 2-1 down. We created a lot of chances, so with that I am extremely pleased.
After a mad dash on the game day, what were your thoughts on not playing our new signing?
I did want to give Julian a few minutes if I’m honest, but the way the match was going I felt that the team needed something different. We put Neil in as he is always dangerous from a set piece, Michael who gives us some great service from the wing and since we needed goals, Seb was an obvious choice to come on. I’m sure Julian’s raring to go and I can guarantee he won’t have to wait very long to get some minutes under him. As long as everyone puts in a shift in training and tries their hardest always, minutes will be available.
After a good win depsite being under threat of losing again, what does that show for the character and determination of the lads?
Again, like I mentioned before… it shows an incredible amount of determination from them. When they play like they did in the 2nd half, we can beat any team in our division. They just need to believe in themselves more and go in to every match as if it were a Cup final. Our next game against Britannia XI (Wednesday 12th at 20:00) could be our biggest yet, so the players will need to prepare extensively for that game and go in with the belief that we can beat them. We have come on leaps and bounds since the beginning of the season and the players need to realise how far we have come. We are where we are because of all the hard work we have and are putting in and we hope to continue in the same line until the end of the season.
Again, we thank the gaffer for his time.