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    Manager previews Raith Rovers game 

    Saturday, August 05, 2017 3:20:06 AM

    Good afternoon and welcome along to the Indodrill Stadium for this afternoons opening league fixture against Raith Rovers.

     I would like to start by welcoming Barry Smith, his staff and players. Barry has assembled a very good squad and will no doubt be expecting to challenge at the top end of the table throughout the campaign. They are a very big club in this league and are justifiably among the favourites to win the league. We have prepared as always for a difficult game and know we will have to be at our best to get the season off to a positive start.

     I am pleased to finally get the league campaign up and running and delighted that the lads have come through the BetFred Cup unscathed. Of course we would like to still be involved in that competition but we all knew how difficult the task was going to be with the likes of Ross County and Hibs in our group. Although I enjoy the format of the competition I think it is heavily weighted to ensure the “big” teams have every chance of progressing. In a one off game against a premiership team I think there is the possibility of pulling off a shock, but when they have another three games to recover it makes it very difficult. I think this has been proven by the lack of lower league teams progressing! Last season the Premiership teams seemed to treat it more like an opportunity to get players fit whereas this year they have definitely taken it more seriously. That was certainly Jim McIntyres views after our game in Dingwall.

     I was really pleased with our last performance against Hibs. Of course we weren’t happy to lose the game, but as a group we felt we played better than the result suggested. The lads were brave on the ball in possession and defended well for the majority of the game. Hibs are a team full of Internationals with a budget we could only dream of, so overall I was proud of the players efforts and glad that we could take so many positive aspects from the game in to this last weeks training in preparation for the game today.

     The players have worked their socks off over the last 7 weeks to make sure they are ready and available for today and are just as excited as you are for the season ahead. I believe I have assembled a squad good enough to compete and am lucky to have great experience and leadership throughout, with some very exciting young talent coming through the system as well. If we apply ourselves properly and play to the levels we’re capable of we will be a match for anyone.

    Starting today it is vital we make our home patch a fortress, where opposing teams hate to come! They need to know they will always be in for a difficult game against a team that will fight and scrap for every ball. We will try and be a team that plays good football but if needs must we won’t be afraid to roll our sleeves up and do the dirty side of the game. You will see a team passionate, determined and 100% committed. The players will give you everything, just like they do in every training session, and hopefully with a bit of luck along the way that will be enough to ensure we are a success this season.

    Finally I would like to thank you the supporters. I know I have said it before but you really can make a difference. Please continue to give our players the positive encouragement they need and play your part in making our stadium a fortress where opposition players don’t enjoy coming.

    As a group we will do all we can to give you a team to be proud of.

    Thanks again and enjoy the game.

    Jim Goodwin

    Managers Corner