Manager on ThursdayThursday, 3rd Oct 2019
03/10/19: SC - “There’s no point in having a belief in youth and then going into a fixture at Cappielow thinking ‘we’re not going to be up for this’.
“It will be a competitive fixture, as it always is down at Cappielow anyway” Stevie Crawford has predicted:-
“It will be a physical battle first and foremost, we’ll have to make sure we’re up for that.
“We’ve taken four points from the last two games and we play Morton, who are on the back of a heavy defeat. It’s never nice to suffer a heavy defeat like that, so I’m sure David Hopkin will have them well drilled this week.
“When I consider the players we had missing last week, it was a positive again for us, that we had a team competing at this level in the Championship.
“Not only did we create enough chances to win a game of football but suffered going a goal behind in difficult circumstances and then got ourselves back in the game and took something from it.
“We’ll go into the Morton game with confidence from that. It’s a young squad that’s developing and looking to climb the league.
“There’s no point in having a belief in youth and then going into a fixture at Cappielow thinking ‘we’re not going to be up for this’.
“There’s a lot of development in us, I firmly believe this club is only going to get better and stronger with every game these boys get under their belts.
“The testing thing for us at the moment is we were missing seven players for selection at the weekend, which is big for any squad. And with the turnover of players we had in the summer, they were a credit to themselves.
“It’s not getting carried away, that we’re accepting a 1-1 against Alloa. Peter (Grant) and Paddy (Connelly) have Alloa working well, they’ll be competitive over the campaign.
“Yes, we were disappointed but the average age was under 22. How many Championship games have they got?
“Not everything was done right but I felt there was an honesty about our performance and boys got stronger as the game went on, so there was nobody hiding from the challenge ahead of them. I think we can only get stronger for that.
In the knowledge that David Hopkin took Livingston out of the Championship, Stevie does not expect the Morton manager to be happy with what has happened to them in the last couple of matches:-
“They’ve gone up to Inverness and a couple of weeks down the line they beat Dundee in their last home game. So he knows how to get a reaction out of his players. It’s one where we can hopefully go down and build on the fact we’re undefeated in the last two games.
“By no manner of means are we going down there with a complacency, thinking it’s just a matter of turning up. That’s disrespectful and we’re not good enough to go down there and be complacent that we’ll come away with a victory.”
Morton have a strong home record but SC feels that his side can take confidence from going to Partick a couple of weeks ago.
“The Inverness game never went the way we hoped in terms of the result but I think we’ve been competitive in the last three games.
“We’re not conceding a lot of chances. Cammy didn’t really have a lot to do but unfortunately had to pick one out the back of his net.
“It was a decent strike from the boy, with a bit of movement on the ball, but it’s one of those moments you hopefully don’t see too many of over the course of a season.
“There was a positive reaction to going a goal down, where two or three weeks ago we’d have struggled to get back into the game. So, there were a lot positives, albeit we felt it was two points dropped.
“If we can restrict Morton to chances and keep creating chances ourselves then we’ll have a good chance of coming away with a positive result.”
Stevie’s update his injured players:-
Euan Murray has seen a specialist this week and Joe Thomson also has an assessment on Wednesday. Gabby McGill is back training and Andy Ryan is back fit as well and played an hour of the reserves on Tuesday afternoon against Hamilton.
“Tom Lang has had a tiny, wee setback. He just felt his hamstring a tiny, wee bit. It’s not a reoccurrence of it, it’s just he felt it, so we felt it was right he missed training on Tuesday.
“We’re still treating Paul Paton.Paul made a block tackle towards the end of the Partick Thistle game. We were 3-0 up at the time but it’s the competitive side to Paul and you can’t take that out of somebody. He’s got a bit of swelling in his ankle that is taking a while to come out, so he’s still getting treatment.
“With Anthony McDonald, we’ve come to an agreement with Hearts that it will not be until they deem him fit at their end. He’s their player, so we just have to make sure he’s 100 per cent ready to go when he comes back, rather than coming back and then a few days later sending him back to Hearts.
“Unfortunately, there’s not going to be a timescale put on that, but he’ll be reporting daily at Hearts until he’s fully fit. He got a scan and there’s bulging discs, and the side effect of that is having an impact on where he’s at in terms of his fitness levels.
“It wouldn’t be right that we were treating him, so we’re regularly in contact with Hearts and we have to be patient on that one.”
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