Wanted - Winners MedalsSunday, 25th Nov 2007
100 metre champion in a hurry to turn season around.
Scott Muirhead knows its Cup Final day and a big chance to pick up his first winner's medal but earlier he dismissed it as "just another game". He is not alone in thinking that like last season cup success can build vital confidence into the team:-
"It takes your mind off your league duties, it gives us a chance to win a trophy and get back to winning ways."
Now that would be very welcome after the last month, he described it in his own words:-
"It has been a bit down. Nobody knew it was going to go the way things happened but I suppose that's football. None of us are happy with our performances and conceding nine goals at home. It is a sticky patch we have been through but the performance away to St Johnstone was a bit better. Hopefully that will be the end to that.
"When you have been beaten 5-0, 3-0 and 4-0 it is not good for anybody. Being a fan going to see your team get beaten like that. It is worse for us because we are playing in it; people don't think you don't care but the boys are really hurting. Nobody wants to get beat that way.
"Last year we played at Ibrox and Parkhead and the way we went about our games there, you find a lot of teams doing that when they come to play us because we are the bigger team in the league. It is down to us as well, we have got to adapt to that and change the way we play to accommodate that. Formations that they play are defensive and we need to break them down."
Criticism has been aimed at just about everyone and everything at the club. Fans, management, board - everyone has discussed the predicament but no one can put a finger on the source of the problems. Scott had no answer:-
"We feel as though people don't think that the boys care but we do, we have been there and tried to play but it is our livelihoods. They have a right to show their emotions because we have been pretty terrible for the last wee while. I don't know what has gone wrong or I would be able to tell you. It is just one of those things that happens in football. Performances, conceding goals and making mistakes. You go through bad patches sometimes and you just need to stick together to try and get out of it."
The string of results such as Dunfermline have had since 20th October, taking the pre season title favourites into the play off position second bottom of the First Division have cost managers their jobs and Scott views the cup final as a great opportunity to take heat off both team and gaffer:-
"It would be good for us to win a trophy and good for the fans to be able to smile for once. The board have been really good with the Manager and it is good that he is still here as well because he is good for us as well. We think he is the right man to hopefully get us back up the league.
"You know he is under pressure with results but he is still on the training park and trying to rise above it."
Weekends have not been easy for the players when results have gone so badly wrong. Living locally, Scott has had to learn how to lay low:-
"There have been a few where I shut the curtains and stayed in my bed, shy away from the world for a couple of days until you get back into training. When you go to training it is a bit doom and gloom but you just get on with it. Hopefully the good times will come."
First Division football has opened the eyes to players like Scott who until relegation struck had played all his matches since making his debut for Aberdeen five years ago this week. The stadiums and crowd sizes are much different but the 23 year old from Paisley admits once there you know you have a job to do:- "It is eleven v eleven at the end of the day no matter where you are playing."
Despite his relative youth Scott has no memory of any winners medals in his football career, runners up medals in the BP Youth Cup and Scottish Cup are all he can recall although he did quip:-
"I think I won a gold medal for the 100 metres one time at school. Sunday is a Cup Final and you know you are not playing for points. It is a one off game; it is not as big as the Scottish Cup but you still see it as a massive opportunity to win a trophy and get a winners medal."