Willie Irvine: "We're scoring lots of goals and we're going to be difficult to beat"

I’ve been really pleased with the way the team have been playing in the last few matches, and there have been a lot of positives to take away from them. We’ve scored a lot of goals and not conceded any, and we’ve seen our new signings fit into the team seamlessly. I was asked to single out individuals who played especially well after the Neilston game, and I had to say that I couldn’t—everyone on the pitch played really well. A nice position to be in!

Players have been outstanding all over the pitch, and I’ve been especially pleased by the way we’ve been defending in these last few games. Of course, the clean sheets are important, but what has stood out for me has been the nature of them—we’ve given very little away in the final third of the pitch.

It’s been a real positive for us so far that we’ve managed a degree of consistency, and were able to start with the same eleven in the matches against Neilston and Benburb. It’s very much our aim; to have a settled squad with competition for places. I like to have my best eleven (by that, I mean the eleven who are on form) and get them to gel. That puts pressure on the fringe players to up their game to try and break into the team. It’s all about raising the bar.

The eleven that started in those matches is the one I expect to see starting against Arthurlie on Saturday, fitness permitting of course. The players are really looking forward to the match, as they always do to these big occasions. The players will be really fired up for the match, as I’m sure Arthurlie’s will too. We’re in good shape, and so are they. I hope it’ll be a good game and we’ll draw a big crowd. We’re not losing any goals, we’re scoring lots of goals and we’re going to be difficult to beat.

Finally, some of you might have noticed a new face in the dug out of late. Jimmy McQuade will be a great addition to my team. He’s not just a good coach, but he brings a lot of experience and enthusiasm and he knows the West Region very, very well. Welcome to Pollok, Jimmy!