Tony McInally: "As we asked more questions, you just sensed it was coming."

Tony on Auchinleck

I thought we were fantastic that day. I thought we were solid throughout the whole game and thoroughly deserved the win. We are going toe-to-toe with Talbot, who are the benchmark for everyone in the junior game. Tommy Sloan knows that we are being run well and being managed well and we have good players in the right places. He recognises that we are a big threat to Talbot’s dominance in the juniors.

Tony on Kilbirnie

We didn’t have a good attitude to the game, Kilbirnie did and deservedly beat us down there. I have no complaints about the result but it was three points dropped. We played the exact same players in the same positions as we had against Auchinleck yet it was as if they had never played together before. We did not play well at all in the game. Kilbirnie have a lot of good players who can play the ball around you and that’s what they did. It was easy for them. The second goal before half time changed things. It made it a different conversation at half time. We were going to change the shape in the second half but with the man sent off that affected how we shaped up and played in the second half.

Tony on Troon

Troon is a fantastic playing surface – up there with the best in the juniors. The game was to me like a mirror image of the Glenafton game on the first day of the season - their keeper had no saves to make, and Jordan had no saves to make—yet they scored with an own goal in injury time. I thought our performance was unacceptable, probably the worst performance by a Pollok team since I have been here. I told the players that their performance was unacceptable to me as a manager and unacceptable to Pollok Football Club. With the talent they’ve got, they needed to be better. The Troon goal was farcical with Gallagher and Walker colliding. These things happen in football – you have off days, and that was one for us. At least against Glenafton we did rally a bit in the second half. But Troon was a terrible performance and I told the players that.

Tony on Arthurlie

It is always great to beat your local rivals and it was a satisfying win for us. I had a real go at the players at half time, I think a few people outside the dressing room heard me. I thought we could have asked more questions of Arthurlie. I told the players to be patient and keep the ball because I had a feeling Arthurlie wouldn’t be able to hold out against us. As we asked more questions, you just sensed it was coming. Michael Daly did the job I wanted him to do – as the point man. As soon as the penalty went in I knew we would win. We had the two Winters on the bench and Alan MacKenzie, so I knew we had legs, I knew we had cleverness and we had goal scorers to come on. When we started to up the tempo, I thought they couldn’t hold us. When Ryan McStay scored that was the trigger for the subs to come on. We tried to ask questions of them; it was one of the things I was taught by the great Rab Sneddon. He told me that if you are making substitutions, make sure you ask the opposition questions.

Tony on Pollok's league position

I would have said that of the four games in January, we won the two hardest ones on paper and took nothing from the other two where I thought we would have picked up the points. We are consistently inconsistent. We can play and beat any team on the day, but if you drop your levels by 10 per cent in this League you will probably lose. In this League you can have a good month and move from second bottom to second top. Unfortunately, we lost form in the middle of January, and we lost form in November when we lost to Glenafton and Cumnock back to back.

We still need a few points to be safe this season, but we have ambitions to better our points total and our position compared to last season. We had ambitions to win the League but I think that is beyond us now, because we have lost too many games but we will strive to get as many points as possible.

Tony on Ryan McStay

Well he is an experienced player; he played at Falkirk, Partick Thistle, Annan and Ayr. He also played in the Irish league with Portadown. I just felt we were light in the middle of the park. When we lost Finlay Frye it left a gap. Ryan is calm and quality on the ball. Having a player like that allows us to win the battles in midfield.

Tony on injuries

Kieran McAleenan is back in full training, He will be available for selection against Meadow. Mark is still struggling with an abductor type injury. Hopefully he will be able to train before the Meadow match. Getting him back would be a real boost because arguably he has been our best player this season.

Tony on Irvine Meadow

We had them watched when they played Shettleston a few weeks ago and against Shotts on Saturday. They're a young enthusiastic team and have a good young player, Gerard Willett, and they have Mark McLennan who is known to us from his time at Pollok. They have a mix of experience and youth. I am hopeful it will be a really good cup tie and obviously I hope that Pollok win.

Read the full unabridged interview in Saturday's match programme