Manager on FridayFriday, 21st Aug 2009
21/08/08: Players need to be clinical
With Airdrie United the visitors on Saturday Manager Jim McIntyre is looking for his team to be more clinical:-
"They always give you a hard game; they are well organised and they have a good manager. You know that you are going to be in for a battle right from the start. They have some decent players who can hurt you so we will have to be right at them the way that we were against Inverness."
Both home games against Airdrie last season were drawn and Kenny Black's men, like every visiting team at East End Park, will be out to disrupt the Pars plans. Macca said:-
"We need to get the ball down and play our own game. It is up to us to first of all win the battle and be clinical when we get the chances."
He takes great reassurance from the performance his side put in for the opening fixture of the season against Caley Thistle:-
"If we play that well, create chances then by the law of averages we will win more than we lose. No qualms, if we play as well as we did against Inverness I will be quite happy."
The players given a chance in the Challenge Cup tie against Queen of the South were clearly lacking in match fitness. Macca was extremely disappointed by the way his side started on Tuesday but conceded that the second half performance was much improved:-
"I am delighted with the squad I have got here; it was just one half performance. First half was sloppy with no pace, no tempo to the game. That is nothing to do with match practice; if that was going to be the case then it would have happened in the second half and the first half would have been good because we would have tired. It is just a case that we started sloppy.
The Pars gaffer feels that his team never did enough in the first half and that's what his post match comments were aimed at.
"Not many put themselves in the frame for a starting place on Saturday, but the bottom line is that I trust the players, they are good players and it was only one performance, indeed one half of a performance. In the second half they came out after a few words and they definitely upped their game. Any team could have won the game with the chances they had."
Saturday's match will have to be tackled without injured trio Stephen Glass, David Graham and Graeme Holmes. It is hoped that Glass will be back in training in just over a week. Holmes' ankle injury from the Queen of the South game will sideline him and David Graham has been ruled out for between six and eight weeks since he has a tear on his ankle ligament and that ankle is still heavily swollen.
"David's injury is a severe blow to the team after the way he has started the season but we have got cover in the wider areas. We have Steven McDougall and Willie Gibson. Willie was fantastic on Tuesday night; he is a player who can hurt teams. We still have good options and that was the reason behind signing the wide players."
Another player with a greater than normal incentive to impress will be Joe Cardle as he comes up against his former club for the first time:-
"He has scored two wonderful goals in the last week so his confidence is high. He knows Tuesday's cup game was as poor as he has played and he was really annoyed with himself."
Airdrie will almost certainly be missing their centre back David Nixon, Ricky Waddell is doubtful with an ankle injury but last weekend's trialists Simon Storey and Tom Nolan could feature as could another trialist Ryan McCann.
Like the fans, Jim McIntyre is really looking forward to the week ahead. The meeting with old adversaries Airdrie is followed up by two visits from Raith Rovers to East End for the first time in nine and a half years
"It is great that we have got a derby and I know that the players are really looking forward to it. We are hoping for a big big crowd to make a great atmosphere. Players love atmospheres, they strive on it, if you don't look forward to that you are in the wrong game."