Martin McConnell caught up with scorer David Templeton and then Lewis Ferguson when they spoke to the press after Saturday’s derby day win
After a battling performance against rivals Motherwell delivered a second consecutive victory at NDP and a valuable three points, goal scorer David Templeton and Lewis Ferguson shared their thoughts on the game with the media. First up was David…….
Was it nice to get the goal and the points today?
“Yes, it’s always nice to score but I think today, the most important thing was to get the three points. We always knew that it was going to be a tough game and we wanted to as I said, get the three points and keep the momentum going and keep ourselves on a positive run.”
You seemed to carry off your game plan to perfection. Was it a case of keeping things tight then punishing them when they made mistakes?
“Yes. We know that they press well and the midfield like to press high. We had to try and miss them out at times and then Fergie and I had to pick up the ball off our strikers and try to take advantage of that. I think that’s what happened with the second goal, they’ve made a mistake and I’ve managed to take advantage of that and then score from it.”
You ran well with the ball for the goal. Were you tempted to go down after McHugh pushed you in the back?
“No, when I was running away from him I’ve took the touch across him because I knew that if I did that, then he couldn’t touch me. He had to kind of let me go and I was actually going to play Antonio and slip him in. As I was going to do it, he gave me the nudge and put me off balance. I had to readjust and try and put it through his legs and thankfully its gone in from it.”
If it wasn’t for that nudge you wouldn’t have had the glory then?
“Probably yes. I’m sure Antonio would have taken the chance, but it doesn’t really matter who scores the goals as long as we win.”
Did the win over Thistle give you a new sense of belief that you could get the results?
“We’ve always had the belief if I’m being honest. We’ve just gave away silly goals and I think that you can see in our past couple of games that we’ve defended much better as a team. That’s from the front and everything that went into the box today was dealt with by our back three, well back five actually, who were all brilliant. Everything was cleared away and I don’t remember many chances that Woods has had to save. A lot of credit goes to them and that’s why we’re walking away with the points today.”
You’ve now got an eight-point cushion from the bottom, that’s decent for this time of the season is it not?
“Yes, we knew that if we got the three points today it put us closer to Motherwell with the two games in hand. So that was our main aim today, to pick up the three points and keep ourselves looking forward rather than behind us.”
Motherwell make no bones about what they’re all about, you’re going to be in a fight when you play them. Do you feel that the way that you stood up to them today, augurs well for what’s coming up from now until the end of the season?
“We knew before the game what type of side Motherwell are. How we’d have to approach it and how we’d have to be on our game and in their faces. Especially in defence we knew we had to win headers and get stuff out of the box. When Motherwell get crosses into the box and they win their headers, then you’ve got a tough game. But I thought the boys handled that brilliantly today and, in the end, we deserved the three points.”
It was a horrible day and a bit of a battle early on, and although you deserved to win in the end, you had to dig in didn’t you?
“It wasn’t really a nice game to play in either. I like to get on the ball and make things happen. Yes, it wasn’t really a day for that, so I just had to graft as well and when I did get the chance, try and make something happen from it. But it wasn’t often, and I can imagine watching the game wasn’t nice either.”
The first goal was a lovely goal though…
“Yes, I just got told to put it into the area and I think big Shaun’s gone to try and win it and Marios has done well to back heel it. I don’t know if it’s been deflected or whatever, but he’s done well to tuck it away.”
You do like to play the beautiful game. What’s it like playing when you’re watching that ball go from back to front?
“I do get frustrated, but the gaffer always tells me not to. It’s hard because you always want to get on to the ball. Sometimes I can drop too deep to try and get on to the end of something and he tells me to try and stay patient. Then at times later in the game it will open up and I can get on it and maybe make a difference. That’s what obviously happened with the goal, but yes, it can get frustrating when you’re not getting as many touches on the ball as you’d like.”
What do you do when a game is going like that? Just keep yourself focused on that one wee chance that might just come along?
“As you say, that’s what you’ve got to think about. Just keep thinking that there will be that one chance that is going to come to you and when it does, you’ve got to be sharp to take it. If you’re too busy thinking about your frustration at not having the ball, then when and if that chance comes along you might be off your game. So, it’s just about staying focused and when it does come along, you’ve got to take it.”
And from Lewis…..
What was the most pleasing aspect of that victory today?
“Getting the three points after the boys dug in was brilliant. It was a hard game to play in the centre midfield as the ball was in the air all the time and going from back to front, but a win is a win.”
The first goal was crucial, and it was a great piece of intuition from the big man?
“Aye, the ball just dropped I think from a corner. It just dropped, and he was quick to react and back heeled it to send us flying.”
Do you think that will help his confidence now?
“Aye, hopefully. Hopefully he now kicks on from that. I think that was his first goal for the club and hopefully he begins to score more in the weeks to come.”
Do you see enough of him in training to suggest that he will get more?
“Aye, he’s been good in training. He holds the ball up well and is a very good finisher and his play shows that.”
Did that goal give you something to hold on to?
“Aye it did. I think when Temps put the second one in, it gave us a cushion that we probably needed. We then just dug in and they threw a lot of balls in to the box and we defended well. I think we defended our box well and that was the main thing.”
Did it feel like you were in a fight today in that game?
“Aye, because there wasn’t much football played out there. It was just a kind of derby day battle, so it was always going to be like that. The thing was to win your own personal battles against whoever you were up against and we came out on top today.”
Was it quite a big test for you at this stage in your career?
“My first game, my debut was against Motherwell and that was exactly the same. That gave me a taste of how it was going to be against Motherwell. Almost every one of them is over six feet, they’re all big boys. That’s what you need to do, battle, and that’s what we done today.”
How do you feel being a younger guy, obviously trying to get on the ball and trying to impress with your football? On days like today you can’t really do that can you?
“It’s hard at times because you do want to get on the ball and show what you can do. But in games like that, when you need a win and the ball is in the air all the time, you’ve just got to go with it and win your battles which we did.”
Is it a good lesson for you as a young player to know that at times the team comes first?
“Aye, it’s a physical challenge and hard going but I’m enjoying it and quite like it. I like a battle and a tackle.”