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Post match Saturday with Martin Canning & Gary Woods

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Web reporter Mark Gillespie caught up with Martin Canning and ‘keeper Gary Woods after Saturday’s penalty shoot out success v Queen of the South

Martin Canning Interview

Manager Martin Canning’s thoughts on the game.

“We got the bonus point but when you score that way, you should probably win the game. It was another game in which its probably slightly different from what we’ll face in the league in terms of both the sides we’ve faced in the cup, have been fairly well organised, sitting really deep and making it difficult for us to break them down.

“It’s difficult when teams do that, obviously Queens have some good players as well. We were on top for a lot of the game and dominating without creating a lot in the way of chances, and didn’t put the ball wide enough. That was something I wasn’t happy about. We didn’t play wide enough or put enough crosses into the box, and continually tried to play through them.

“Your paths were getting blocked, but in the end, it was a really good workout for us and another good 90 minutes for a lot of the players. We’ve got the bonus point and we’ll move on.”

It was unusual to see you play against ten men behind the ball and try and block you out.

“It was, and it happened to us last week as well. Maybe for us we have to be that little bit cuter in terms of the way we create opportunities. It isn’t easy against a team of well organised pro’s sitting with ten men behind the ball, and you’re forced to go and try and break them down. I thought we controlled a lot of the ball and moved it about, maybe the wee through passes we make a couple of times don’t come off. The goalie had two or three good saves. The one from Scott comes off the inside of the post, Ali’s free kick is heading for the top corner and comes back out. In games like that you’re hoping you can score, because if you score, they’ve got to come out a bit more to try and get back in and get something from it. Spaces then open up and you’re hoping to score a couple, but when it stays at 0-0, they’ll look at it thinking that they’ve got you frustrated, they’ve done well and worked hard. For us, we’re looking to have got a goal, and see if they come out and create more space for us to go and get a goal or two.”

Your keeper thought there had been a foul on him in the lead up to the conceded goal.

“Yes, it looked like a foul but I haven’t seen it back yet. It looked like a foul at the time. Firstly, I thought we should have done with the first ball back, I don’t think it should have been headed back toward the keeper, it should have been anywhere but. But it has been put back there and Woodsy comes out and the guy jumps straight into Woodsy, but again, that’s on first viewing as I haven’t seen it back.”

What’s going to be the approach to the Albion Rovers game on Tuesday night?

“Yes, same again. I think it will be a similar type of game in terms of their side will be well organised. They’ll look to go and frustrate, we need to make sure that we have enough quality to put more crosses into the box and try and get the goal. I think in these games, if you can get the first goal, then hopefully we can relax a wee bit and go and come out and change the game. If you don’t, like today you’ve got to be patient and probe, hope to get an opportunity. Today, I must say that wee Boydy’s finish was outstanding and he’s now knocking on the door for an opportunity to start in the Premiership. That’s the reason why, he’s got that quality and like I say, the frustrating thing is we didn’t manage to hold on. Hopefully on Tuesday we can go and get a bit more in terms of opportunities, and see if we can take them.”

How key can David Templeton be to your side this season?

“He has got that something that we haven’t got in terms of quality, a little bit of magic in his boots. He sees things, and within a minute of coming onto the park, he has a shot on goal. But with him, he’s a little bit behind the boys with his preseason work having picked up a wee niggle. It will be the same as last season, we won’t put any pressure on him. He won’t be allowed to drift through, that sounds bad, but will be allowed to go at his own pace.  What I won’t do, is try and start him in games. Like today, if he’s fully fit he can make a difference. He’s the guy with that bit of magic that can open a side up when things are tight and it’s compact like that. What I won’t do, is put him into a game that I don’t think he can get through or risk putting him out longer term. That’s now a half hour that we’ve got him through the course of preseason and try and work on that on Tuesday, and see if we can get a bit more game time and build him up some more, ready for the league.”

What did you make of Xavier Tomas on his debut today?

“I thought he was good, and very comfortable throughout the game. Again, we weren’t tested a lot because of the way the game went. His use of the ball was good and he won the headers that he had to win. He talks and he organises. I was pleased, I thought it was a good first game for him. He’ll obviously be tested more in the Premiership in terms of his defensive qualities, which I’ve seen and he has got. For his first game, he has done well.”

Gary Woods stepped to the plate for you today, after the two missed penalties. Most people in the crowd thought that was it.

“He was great for us. I must say, his attitude and professionalism this preseason has been brilliant. He is in great shape, probably the best shape he has been in since being at the club. He’s come back in really good shape and worked hard, and for me he is a good goal keeper. So, he deserved his wee break. The goal sort of ricocheted and he doesn’t get the foul, then goes on to make three great saves in the penalty shoot out to win it. That’s the thing with shoot outs, for a goalie you can be a hero, that’s their opportunity within games to be the guy that goes and wins the game for you. Today he has managed to do that for us.”

The scene was set for Alan Martin to steal the show in the penalty shoot out.

“I said that before the penalties started! He’s probably told them that we take lots of penalties. For the past couple of years, if the training games are drawn, we take penalties almost every day. So, obviously Alan knows a bit about the boys and knows where they like to go. I said to Beuzy, he’s probably got a wee bit of an advantage as he’s used to playing and training with us. Thankfully we managed to stick them away and Woodsy was excellent.”

Gary Woods

The penalty shoot-out hero, Gary Woods admitted that the competition from two other keepers was good for him, in his bid to remain Accies number one, saying, “Competition inside any team for positions is healthy. For me, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully the manager will keep playing me.

“He has so far played me in the first two and it looks as if it will be mine for just now. I performed well last year when I was in and I hope to keep up my performances for the rest of the season.”

Gary didn’t seem to remember much about Stephen Dobbie’s 88th minute equaliser when he told us, “I didn’t know too much about it to be honest, it was a short header back, I came out and can’t really remember too much more than that. Although I do remember the guy going right through me then I land on my back. Like I said, I personally think it was a foul but sometimes these things happen so quickly that not everyone can see it.”

“But you know, the referee didn’t give it and that’s part and parcel of football. Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t. I definitely thought it was a foul, when I got up I found it difficult to breathe. I couldn’t really see what happened in the lead up to the goal, but that’s part of football too. My penalty shoot-out record isn’t brilliant, so to save three was great. To earn the two points is better than the one for a draw, although I thought that we deserved the three over the course of the 90″

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