Accies web reporter Martin McConnell caught up with new signing and scorer of his first two Accies goals George Oakley after his double v the Perth Saints here on Wednesday night…
The Manager said earlier that you were the only player that he actually knew, from the ones recently brought in. How long have you known him?
“I’ve known him for a year and a bit now. But he worked very closely with me when I first joined Inverness during his time there. He looked after me, I was only 21 when I first joined there and he saw what I had. He worked really closely with me, developed my game a lot and helped me to progress. He sees what I’ve got and I think that’s why he’s brought me to Hamilton. He knows what I can bring to the team and he likes hard working people. The team worked their socks off today, we all did. I can’t take all the credit for the goals today, it was the whole team.”
What does it do for a player when you know that the manager values you so much?
“You know I think it’s all mental, football that is. If the camp is positive and the gaffer wants you, then you feel on top of the world. And as a striker it’s all about confidence. And that’s what he has given me, he’s given me the confidence to go out there with a smile on my face and just go and do what I do. That’s what I did tonight and I got the two goals which is good.”
You won’t be surprised then with the impact that he’s had since getting here.
“100%. I think that if you ask all the boys, they’ll definitely tell you about the change in positivity around the camp and in the dressing room with the way in which we’re playing. Going out and attacking teams now. Under him we’ve now got a draw and a win, that’s positive. If we can continue to play like that then who knows?”
A goal threat is something that has been missing at Accies, you’ll hopefully be that man that scores the goals to keep them in the league then?
“100%. That’s exactly what I’ve come here to do. That’s what every striker has to do, that’s your job. Although you have to go and do the hard work off the ball up the top end of the pitch, you’re paid to go and score goals.”
Not much pressure on you then?
“Exactly! But that’s the thing, you’ve got to be able to thrive under the pressure. You can’t fear that pressure, don’t fear anything, just go out there and be positive. And that’s exactly how I’ve got it inside my head. It’s good.”
When you first came in, you quipped that you were knackered. Is that mentally, physically or both? And is that what’s demanded of you now?
“A bit of everything that you’ve just said there I think. He’s demanding a lot from us to win games and I think that you saw that effort out there tonight. We were almost dead on our feet towards the end there to get that win. It was really good to be out there.”
In the way that you’re talking George, you don’t see it as a relegation battle, you see games as opportunities to score goals and see where it takes you.
“100%. You know, I got asked last time, ‘Why did you come here to a relegation battle when you were chasing promotion?’, and I thought ‘What are you on about?’. It’s got nothing to do with that. I’ve come here to play under a manager that’s going to push all of us positively. I’ve come here to play games and prove myself and that’s what I want to do. So I’m here to help the team out and for the gaffer. It’s good.”
Are you surprised that Brian went out on his own as a manager? It’s taken him a long while to get to this point.
“Yes, I know. Seriously, working with him for a year has shown me that he has the qualities of being a manager. It’s just a case of whether he wanted to take that step or not. A lot of people take the job and they bring a lot of pressure down onto their shoulders. Again, all I can say is that he’s come in and just put a smile on everyone’s faces. That’s what he wants, to smile and make players enjoy themselves. Tonight we went out there, enjoyed it and took three points.”