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Post match interviews with Canning, Bingham and Gordon

Web reporters martin McConnell and Mark Gillespie caught up with the Manager plus Rakish and Ziggy after Saturday’s penalty shoot bonus point win over Airdrie …

 

Martin Canning

What were your overall impressions of today’s game?

“Well, it was a mixed bag from us. I thought at times we looked good and at other times the intensity wasn’t quite there. Particularly in the first half, we weren’t as at it as we should have been. The second half, we spoke about it at half time and I thought we had a good second half. We weren’t creating enough and that’s a wee issue for us just now. I think at the top end of the pitch we got in to some good areas, and maybe over hit a pass or under hit a pass or crossed when we should have shot or shot when we should have crossed it. I think the decision making at the top end wasn’t as good as it should have been, and I think the game would have been more comfortable in the second half if we had been more clinical. We weren’t and were hit by their only attempt up the park in the second half, which they score from. Which again, is about being clinical defensively and doing your job well. Overall obviously for us it’s disappointing as we would expect to win this game. But we know what we’ve got to do now in preparation for Saturday.”

How would you assess the campaign overall?

“Obviously for us it was disappointing as we expected to go through from the group. There’s been a big turn around here in terms of players and personnel, and that’s going to take time to settle and work. The last couple of seasons we’ve not changed as many players as we’ve done this year and probably got through groups without performing as well as we would have liked. After losing to Annan in our first game this season, that puts us on to the back foot right away. Against Livingston, we should have probably won the game but didn’t. We beat Berwick and today we should have won. For us it’s disappointing as we should be qualifying from the group if you look at the sides in the group, no disrespect to them but we should be finishing top of that group or at least qualifying out of it. From that perspective it’s disappointing but we know what we’ve got to do and where we are and are trying to bring in the players that we feel can strengthen the team. That’s where are just now and in the same boat without learning anything different in these games from what I knew when I came back for preseason. We did a lot of the work over the summer and put the squad together and still looking to add those key three or four players that we need.”

How are you set for the start of the league season next week?

“Yes, we are ready to go, and the boys will be ready. Like I say, we’ll work right up until the end of August getting players in to the club. In terms of getting ready for next week, everybody’s just looking forward to the game. I think when you step up to the Premiership game, the atmosphere in the stadium will be full and the intensity will be there. It’s a good game for us to start against a strong Hearts team but one you definitely want to be involved in.”

 

Rakish Bingham

It wasn’t a great result today. How did you feel the match went?

“No, it wasn’t the best and not what we wanted. We wanted to see it out and it didn’t quite work out that way for us but hopefully we can develop on that for next week’s game here against Hearts.”

It must feel good to get another goal just in time for start of the league season?

“Yes, it’s always nice to get on to the score sheet at any time as it helps a lot with my confidence. I’m just hoping that I can get more and more to help the team out.”

In the games that I’ve seen you play so far, you seem to play a slightly different role up front. Is this something that might improve your chances this season?

“No, I’m comfortable playing in any role that I’m given in the side and more than capable of doing what the gaffer wants.

How far off do you think the team are going in to the game against Hearts?

“We’re definitely ready and have been preparing the whole preseason for the first match against them. I mean there’s definitely positives to take from today and certainly some negatives as well, but we’ll need to develop on from them and be ready for Hearts next week as that’s the next important game.”

You look as if you’re knocking the ball around the deck much more, is this due at least in part to the newly installed surface?

“The pitch has a part to play in it yes, but we’ve got players that are willing to get the ball down and play. Adam Phillips coming in has been a great addition as he’s got great passing ability, so the new pitch will really suit him and the whole team.”

How do you feel the pitch is playing?

“Yes, I feel that it’s an improvement on last season’s pitch and hopefully that can help us improve for the coming season too.”

 

Ziggy Gordon

What’s the overall feeling about the cup with regards to where it leaves you?

“At the end of the day you need to take it as it is. Obviously, we’re bitterly disappointed that we’ve not progressed and it’s one cup that we’re now out of. It’s disappointing for the club, the players and the manager. However, as I said you need to take it as it is. These league cup games have been made more or less for Premiership sides to have competitive preseason games. The game against Annan was the first game that the boys had all played together with ninety minutes under their belts. So, as I said, we’re disappointed but it’s a learning curve for us and that’s what we’ll do. We’ll learn from it.”

It’s only a week until the real stuff starts and that was against a League One side, there wasn’t a lot in the game.

“Listen, League One is just a name. It’s eleven players against eleven players. If we don’t match their hunger then we don’t deserve to win the game, that’s the be all and end all. If we can match the hunger of a side below us, then our ability should shine through. I think today we saw snippets of how our team can play. This league that we’re about to go in to can be ruthless and you’ve got to score goals and that’s something that we’ve been unable to do in this league cup campaign. It’s something that we’ll have to get savvy at and learn very quickly.”

As you say it’s a ruthless league and as always happens with Hamilton Accies, people will write you off as relegation contenders. Do you feel as if you’ve got the squad to do as you’ve done the past few years and stay up?

“I think you’ll have to remember that this is a completely new squad of players and we’ve had a massive, massive turn around in players. I think more so than any other side that stayed in the Premiership. So, you need to take that in to account. However, no one cares when it comes to games. The fans won’t care and rightly so, we need to have a competitive team out that’s good enough to win games. I’ve no doubt that the gaffer is working hard to bring in players that will add some quality to the team, because I feel that in certain parts it’s needed. I think it’s been shown today and in the league cup in general. That’s the price of being Hamilton Accies, you have to wait that bit longer to get the quality in because of the size of the club. But everyone is working extremely hard, I can promise every one of the fans and everyone looking in and writing us off, that we’ll work until the last second of the last game.”

There was a bit of booing at the end, I don’t know if you caught that?

“No.”

Is that unfair?

“At the end of the day, in my opinion, those that support the club pay an admission and have the right to boo us or to cheer us. It’s their right. They’ve paid their hard-earned money from working during the week and have come to support us. Obviously as a player I’d hope that they would support us through the good times as well as bad, because we are the smallest club in the league. However, I’ve got nothing else to say on how the fans express their love for the club or they don’t. It hasn’t really got anything to do with me, I’ll just continue to play as hard as I can along with the other players on the pitch.

 

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