Accies media web reporter Martin McConnell spoke with Ziggy Gordon and Scott Martin on Saturday afternoon after our defeat by Celtic…
It was a tough first half out there but you still managed go in just one goal down at break.
“It did, because other than Woods’ fantastic save midway through the first half, I really don’t think that they had much in the game. I thought we were efficient in what we did and worked hard through the week on what we did, and the gaffer got the tactics spot on. Everyone knew their job, were determined and aggressive when the ball came in to the last third and that’s what you need to against Celtic. They’re always going to have more possession than us because they’re very good players, but it’s all about what they do with it in the final third and what we do with it in the final third. Unfortunately we just didn’t get the breaks when we managed to get forward and couldn’t keep hold of the ball for long enough as we constantly came under pressure, which is something we’ll need to work on.”
The side seemed to start the second half with much more optimism.
“At half time the gaffer basically said that we had to keep doing what we were already doing, to slow the game down when we could, make every moment matter and stick together as a team. I think that the enthusiasm today gave me a lot of belief and should give the fans and the team belief too, although it was 3-0, it was almost a fake 3-0 in my eyes. It was almost like the Rangers game when they came and won 4-1 when really it was never a 4-1 game. So the scoreline was a sore one but I’ll take the positives from it.”
You were unlucky with that second goal going in and that really swung things didn’t it?
“You always feel that you’re in the game against Celtic when just a goal down with lots still to play for. At two down it’s really sore because you then have to change your tactics and try to get the ball forward quicker and speed the game up. That just plays in to their hand and makes things very difficult.”
It must be daunting to face Celtic when they’re so relentless, how do you handle that?
They’re good players and at the end of the day it’s about levels, levels of player and levels of club. The best we can do is to match them in our enthusiasm and determination, and that’s what we should be judged on. I feel that we did match them on that if not more but they’ve just got that bit more quality which we don’t have. That’s not embarrassing for me to say, it’s just the truth.”
It’s a big double header coming up against Dundee and St. Mirren now, does all the focus now switch to that?
“Yes, it’s a massive week for us. Everyone should be ready to go and everyone should realise just how big a week it is. Not just for the club, but for themselves. They’re playing for a jersey and they’re playing for their job. I hate to say it but they’re almost playing to put food on their table as we need to stay in this league. In order to do that we need to take points from our rivals. Everyone has aspirations to play at a higher level but first and foremost you need to win the games that you should win.”
It was tough going in the first half but you gave yourselves a chance going in to the second.
‘I think that the boys stuck to their tasks very well. We stuck to the game plan and knew what we had to do as we worked on it during the week. We knew that we had to try and frustrate them and until the second goal went in I thought we did that very well. They worked an excellent set play for the first goal, so there wasn’t a lot that could have been done against that.”
What changed in the second half?
“There wasn’t really any changes to the way that we played in the second half. We had to stick together and I thought that we did that in the first half. I think that we just gave it a bit more of a go, as being one goal down against any side means you’re still in the game. So we did give it a go, but the second goal was a bit of a blow and the third goal was really unlucky. I don’t think that it was a 3-0 game if I’m being honest, the boys were brilliant.”
Did Scott Sinclair’s header come off you for the second goal?
“The header was aimed downwards and I’ve just stuck out a lazy leg to get something on it. That’s my fault for not being fully aware and if I don’t touch it then I think Gary Woods gathers it. I don’t think there’s anyone behind me, but I held my hands up to that in the changing room and apologised to the boys for that.”
You’ve put in some fairly consistent performances from week to week and hold a regular place in the side now.
“Aye I’ve just got to stick to the task that I’ve been given in midfield and hopefully I stay in team due to some good performances. Everyone is fighting for a position in the team and it’s really competitive in midfield. Daz is still to come back, Tom Taiwo was just unbelievable today and Dougie was playing in central midfield today was excellent despite it not being his natural position. I’m learning from the older pro’s and hopefully that shows in the way that I’m playing.”