Lifeblood of club important for YogiTuesday, 18th Jan 2022
John Hughes: - “It’s a challenge we’re up for and hopefully someone can step into the void - or we bring someone in.”
There have been trialists, there have been targets on the radar but John Hughes had no new faces to reveal to the media today. He said:-
“We’ve had a few disappointments but we’re spinning the plates all over the place. You think you’re just about there on one or two and then it doesn’t happen but I would like to think that we might have at least one in the squad for Saturday’s match.”
In the meantime the club has not wasted any time in securing new deals for the three young players who have all been making their mark in the first team this season. Lewis McCann, Paul Allan and Matty Todd have all signed contract extensions in the last week and the manager was as pleased as they were:-
“Don’t forget Miller Fenton, he is close to signing a new deal as well and isn’t too far behind them. Maybe he’ll go on loan somewhere but that’s the lifeblood of the club. They care about the club, they’re in the community, they’re home birds, they have a pride in the club.
Above, left to right Matty Todd, Miller Fenton and Paul Allan
“It’s important they’re getting game-time in the first-team and they set the benchmark. Apart from that they’re good footballers and I think that’s been proven over the last two or three weeks.
“My message to them is, ‘don’t sit back and rest on your laurels, thinking there’s a new contract’ or they’ll soon find themselves sitting next to me on the bench.
“Don’t be found wanting and have a growth mindset, in terms of asking how you can get better every day you come into training. Listen, learn and go and implement it.
Above: Eighteen year old Miller Fenton was given his debut by Peter Grant in the Premier Sports Cup tie against Dumbarton
“That’s the message to them, because we’re constantly looking to see how we can make it better. I’m delighted for these kids, I really am. They’ve not let me down.
“With young kids you do have to take them out every now and then, but they’re starting to find their way. It’s a big ask for them. We’re at the bottom of the league, we’re struggling, but they’ve not let themselves down and they’ve not let their team-mates down, that’s for sure.”
The manager confirmed that he would be looking for a replacement for Mark Connolly after his loan period from Dundee United expired and the Irishman moved on to join Dundalk:-
“That’s an area we’re looking for but Lewis Martin can stand in there. Big Rhys Breen is back from Covid, we just need to monitor him and keep our eye on him, in terms of the fatigue. We have to be very, very careful. Breeny’s our own that is why we want to put a lot of work into him, challenge him and work him.
“We’ve got enough to keep us covered. Mark will be hard to replace but that’s our job, to try and replace him and keep moving it forward. It’s a challenge, I have to say that, but it’s a challenge we’re up for and hopefully someone can step into the void - or we bring someone in.”
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