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    Allan Maitland previews Arbroath match 

    Friday, October 17, 2008 12:39:52 PM

    We are pleased to welcome John McGlashan, his coaches, players, the directors and of course the supporters of Arbroath Football Club to the “Recs” for today’s game, which is vital for us as we try to re-establish our season after such a dreadful first quarter. I’m sure that John will be equally keen to win after a run of disappointing results that has seen them drop down to second bottom after such a good start to their season. With John Fraser, Darren Hill, Scott Gates, Steven Rennie and Robbie Raeside in their squad, you know that Arbroath will be fighting for every point available and in Barry Sellars they have a player who is capable of so much. John McGlashan has done a fantastic job at Arbroath and with him in charge they are definitely capable of staying in this division – hopefully not at our expense. In hindsight that first game at Gayfield when we lost 4 – 1 has really set the standards for our season so far and we now need to approach the games as if our season is starting all over again. The responsibility for our form lies entirely with me and it’s my job to ensure that we improve - I believe in the players that we have at the club and feel that a real lack of confidence is the root of our problems at the moment. While I understand that this is a time for our more experienced players to stand up and be counted, I have included young Greig Spence in our squad - he has been outstanding for our under 17’s and in my opinion has a great future in the game. He managed his first goal, in a friendly against Glenafton Juniors last week, when he lobbed the keeper soon after coming on and I hope that it’s the first of many.

    I watched the Scotland game last weekend and along with everyone else was disappointed that we didn’t win and astonished when Chris Iwelumo put his chance wide of the post. Our second half performance was definitely a vast improvement on the first 45 minutes and George Burley obviously recognised the need to change the front line. Like most I was surprised when Kris Boyd wasn’t utilised but that’s the manager’s call and he must have felt that Fletcher and Iwelumo were a better option. If Chris had scored, as he undoubtedly should have, then the substitution would be seen as the correct decision but now we are all left questioning the wisdom of the changes.

    Our last match was the defeat at Brechin and I have to say that I was very impressed with Michael O’Neill’s team and they deserved their victory although I thought we played our part in a good game. We started really well and should have scored when Craig Nelson made a good save from “Broonie” after spilling Jamie Stevenson’s long range effort. We defended better as a team and our application throughout the game was first class – on the day we were beaten by a better team. Our lack of goals has been as much a problem as our poor defending and that was highlighted in our defeat at Queens Park when we lost 1 nil despite dominating the game from the start. Queens Park defended well and scored with their only shot on target in 90 minutes, while we hit the bar, missed 2 sitters and saw their keeper being named man of the match after several saves.
    Everyone at the club is fully aware of the need to improve, especially having done so well last season, and if we are to avoid another relegation scrap then we need to start quickly. Today will be another very difficult game and we will need to show a vast improvement in our levels of concentration when defending and a bit more composure in our finishing if we are to succeed, although I would just as readily accept a deflected winner off someone’s backside in the last minute.

    As always I thank you for your support and hope we can give you the victory you deserve. .

    Allan Maitland - Team Manager

    Managers Corner