Manager on FridayFriday, 6th May 2011
06/05/11: JM- "I am looking forward to tomorrow, looking forward to the players and fans enjoying their day and hopefully, we can get the right result as well to go with that."
Speaking at lunchtime, Jim McIntyre admitted that it had been a bit of a hectic week:-
"That's just the way it is. It's a position we want to be in - it's what we have been chasing all year. Obviously we have got players who are leaving and players who have been offered contracts."
The harsh fact that they will be leaving has now been communicated to the players concerned but Macca said that this was a very very difficult job, especially as they are leaving as winners.:-
"It's not a nice part having to tell people you have worked with for a couple of years that they are not getting another contract. I have to do what I think is right for the Football Club and that is the most important thing and always will be."
Those leaving will be Kyle Allison, Greg Paterson, Alex Burke, Neil McGregor, Chris Higgins and Jake Hyde. As for the remainder of those out of contract -
"More discussions will be made this afternoon regarding the remaining members of the squad being offered contracts."
The season comes to a end on Saturday with the visit of Falkirk and the Manager is still coming to terms with what has actually been achieved.
"Its actually not sunk in yet" he confessed. "I think once we get the trophy then it will sink in in the coming weeks. I have been so busy this week that it really has not happened yet to be quite honest. I am looking forward to tomorrow, looking forward to the players and fans enjoying their day and hopefully we can get the right result as well to go with that."
The First Division title is the first honour for Jim McIntyre, the Manager. Just three and a half years ago he was one of the playing staff but following Stephen Kenny's dismissal Macca stepped up when the Club required someone to fill the vacuum. He says that he is "absolutely thrilled":-
"It is - it's my one and only win. I have to say what a good league this is, what a tough league it is, very competitive. There are a lot of good players within the league, and also managers. I'm very, very lucky that I have managed to get my hands on it."
The Manager paid tribute to the DAFC Board:-
"I probably wouldn't be here if I hadn't had the backing. Like anything it is a two way street. They have seen gradual progression every year. They have liked the product in terms of how we play the game and that goes hand in hand with backing your Manager. If they are not seeing that and they are not seeing progression year on year then they are not going to keep you."
Jim McIntyre is looking forward to trying his hand in the SPL:-
"Definitely. I am a novice but I am looking forward to it.I have a belief in the players that have been offered contracts that they can do well.We know that we need to strengthen and that would be the case whether we were still in the First Division or in the Premier League. You always look to try and strengthen your team."
With it being the last game of the season he is obviously wanting to go out on a high with a win:-
"Yes, absolutely. We want to make sure that that doesn't put a dampener on the day. We want to finish the season unbeaten."
Morton are the only team to have won at East End Park this league season and that home form has been important:-
"That has been the catalyst in winning the title If you look at the previous seasons we let ourselves down in the consistency levels but our home form was the one that we knew to win the league that we had to improve upon. We have more than done that this year and we are delighted with that."
Apart from Steven Bell out, both Calum Woods and Martin Hardie are 50/50.
Last Saturday's title clinching game was the gaffer's most enjoyable but he suggested milestones on the way:-
"I think people will pick the Ross County game away because of four minutes into injury time you get the goal and how crucial it was and we have kicked on from there but there has been other games. The Raith Rovers game was a huge game to set up the Morton match. I think the biggest thing is you always get times in a season where you get some lows and its how you respond to the lows. When the heat was on the players, they produced.
"We had a meeting after the Morton game when we gifted three goals away. We spoke about the individual errors that particular day and previous games where we gifted teams goals and we were having to work extremely hard for ours. We laid it on the line to the players of how important this was and how if we didn't achieve this that there would be huge cuts etc.
"Sometimes players can't handle that, hearing that side of it and they just think they are footballers going from game to game and contract to contract.I think they bought into what we were saying because it was the truth, it wasn't scaremongering. They know the state Scottish Football is in. We just had to tell them that with the squad we had here, we could not mess this up. You need a bit of luck along the way and we got that as well. Every team needs that. There is no doubt that the best team has won the league in my mind and that is not me being biased. We have played the best football, scored the most goals, conceded the least amount of goals so we deserve it."
Asked what his plans are now for the close season?
"Constantly on the telephone and organising things. This season will be a lot more busier because I have more players that I need to sign and do negotiations with. That's the most important thing to get done first. Myself and Jim Leishman are dealing with the pre season as well. There is one pre-season game arranged against Livingston on 2nd July which is the first one.
The Manager confirmed that the plan is to play all pre-season games away due to the pitch being relaid, that is apart from the last one on Saturday 16th July.