Stephen Docherty: Overall, I'm encouraged

McGinty’s goal against Medda helped sustain Docherty’s impressive was fortunate enough to have a short chat with interim manager Stephen Docherty after training this week, ahead of Saturday’s match away to Beith. We started off by asking him to comment on results since he’s been in charge.

The last few weeks have gone well. After the Ashfield game, we all knew how low the place was and how much that defeat had affected a lot of people. The first game after that was the cup game down in Irvine. They boys were low in confidence, and did well to get the win.

On to the game against Cumnock at Newlandsfield, I felt that we were excellent in the first half… there seems to be a wee pattern just now where we’re good in the first half and in the second half we seem to fall out of it; I don’t know if that’s down to fitness, but it’s something we’re working on in training, to get the fitness level up. I think the general play in most of the games has been very good.

The game against Rob Roy had a draw written all over it, and if you take out 30 seconds, and a mistake from a young boy who’s learning, it would have been 0-0. That would have been even better, 4 wins and a draw! But overall, I’m encouraged.

Irvine Meadow are the league champs, and we know what they’re all about. They’re a good team, full of quality, but with so many ex-Meadow players here and vice-versa, we knew it was going to be a massive game. To be fair though, if we want to keep ourselves up at the top end of the table, or even push for the league, I don’t think we can afford any more defeats. So we know every game has to be treated the way we treated the game on Saturday—not just because it’s Meadow, but we need to do the same when we go down to Beith and then again when we play Arthurlie, Talbot… every game’s got to be treated the same.

Diack took cramp in that game and played through it, but he’ll be fit for Saturday. I’ve not said much about Iain, as for me, he’s by far the best striker in the junior football just now, and I don’t want to start bumping him about. I know how good he is, and he knows that I know how good he is. I’ve been to see a lot of games this year, and nobody can touch him. We’re likely to be missing McGinty, who suffered a wee knock, and Jordan Smith who might be out for a week or so. Obviously Swifty will be suspended after getting a two-match ban for his red in the Rabs game.

Ahead of the Beith game, the boys are on a high just now. They’ve been doing more fitness work in training than they have in a long time, but there’s no complaints from them. They know themselves that they looked dead on their feet against Medda with 20 minutes to go, and they know they need to improve. But it’s still high-tempo, and the biggest thing is that they are enjoying it.

Thanks to Stephen Docherty