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    Jim Goodwin after Irn-Bru Cup victory 

    14 August 2018 18:26:37

    Jim Goodwin after Irn-Bru Cup victory

    We said after the game, it was important to get the victory and progress into the next round, I felt first half was an excellent performance we were well on top, dominated the game, started the second half really well, scored a terrific goal then kind of had a spell of 15 minutes where we dropped below the standards required and allowed Stirling Albion back into the game, their goal was a decent corner from their point of view but we have to do better and mark their man and take responsibility in that area and we also got sloppy in the middle of the park, taking too many touches. However we ended the game better again and got our foot back on the ball, I understand the crowd want us to keep going and get four or five, Stirling themselves dropped off and we kept the ball and ran the clock down and just delighted to be in the next round.

    I am quite relieved we have the weekend off now the players that are here have worked ever so hard through the pre season into the Betfred Cup and at the start of the season we have been really tight with limited options off the bench, we had to take Greig Spence out of the team tonight due to a suspension he picked up last season with Raith Rovers and Jake Hastie was back playing for Motherwell Under 21’s tonight, we were down to the bare bones again, so it gives me a good week to try and get the ones who are almost over the line and hopefully this time next week we will have some good news regarding signings.

    We will come back in on Thursday night we will have a light session on Thursday and I think I am going to give the boys the Saturday off because the 13 or 14 players that are here have worked very hard both in training and in the games, they have given me absolutely everything so they have earned to have the weekend with their families.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin after Morton defeat 

    11 August 2018 14:04:47

    Jim Goodwin after home defeat to Morton

    It was a hard result to take, the first goal in this league is very important, particularly between the two sides today ourselves and Greenock Morton where there was not a great deal between the teams. Both goals are disappointing from our point of view, the first goal in particular I thought we could have defended a lot better, Chris Millar broke his way through into the 18 yard box far too easily, a decent finish from his point of view and the second goal was a thirty yard strike right into the top corner, there is not a great deal you could do to stop that, but other than that there was not a lot between the two sides. It would be very easy for me to come in here after last Saturday and here today against Greenock Morton if we had been miles apart and we were getting overrun and teams had been far better than us, it would be far easier to take, at the moment that’s very frustrating because that is just not the case, I feel we should have had a point on the board from Dingwall, losing a goal so late last week in the 88th minute, and today there was nothing between the teams, but fair play to Morton they are the ones sitting with the result, we have now had two league games and nothing to show for it.

    I think in the second half the boys went out and done exactly what we asked of them, in terms of being patient on the ball, our movement from side to side and getting in behind them, I thought Jake Hastie on the far side got the better of the right back four or five times, maybe we are just lacking the final ball in the final third, we definitely didn’t work their goalkeeper enough, it was difficult Morton dropped off a bit in the second half and had pretty much ten men behind the ball for long spells and we were trying our best to break them down but unfortunately we just couldn’t find the opening, I felt at 1-0 if we had got the next goal I really felt we could have gone on and won the game but it wasn’t the case, but it was a sore one to take.

    The disappointing thing for me is we are not really surprising anyone, people expected us to lose at Dingwall, people probably expect us the lose every game in this Division, they look at how difficult the league was for Brechin City last season but I know we are better than that and that’s the real frustrating thing for me and I think we should have at least a couple of points on the board but that is very easy for me to say those things but we have to go and do it on the pitch to do that we have to be a little bit better and creative in the final third and that’s all that is letting us down at the moment, defensively the boys have been great as I said it was a mistake for the first goal today but the second goal was a fantastic strike, other than that I can’t remember Neil Parry having a great deal to do.

    When Greig Spence was flattened in the penalty box it looked a stonewaller, from where I was and that was at 1-0, I just don’t understand, the linesman who is on the same side of the pitch as me, the referee had a good view of it, Greig is in front of the defender and the defender clearly barged into the back of him, I don’t understand how that was not given. If that was given at 1-0 and hopefully we had went and converted it to make it 1-1, it was game on again but those are the decisions that you need the referee to be brave enough to give, it is very easy to give fouls in and around the middle of the pitch but the big decisions which they are paid to make, unfortunately I think they got that one wrong.

    Jim Goodwin

    Late goal sickner 

    04 August 2018 17:06:46

    Jim Goodwin after late defeat at Dingwall

    I’m gutted for the players to be honest, for the amount of effort and hard work they put in the game today, I think it merited a point, we certainly didn’t do enough to win the game, apart from Greig’s chance in the first half we never had any other clear cut chances after that but I thought we defended really well at times, I thought our shape was good, we were frustrating Ross County in the second half, we knew they would be able to make changes they have a big squad and they brought some bodies on who can change it up, Brian Graham coming on made a difference.

    The goal against was just a lapse of concentration at the end both wingers matched their full backs all the way for the duration of the game, it was a big learning curve for young Jake, going forward he has been absolutely brilliant since he has come in from Motherwell, we are very lucky to get him on loan, going forward he has been absolutely outstanding and that is just a learning curve for him on his path to bigger and better things.

    We were hanging on there is no doubt about it, I think I am very honest in my assessment and I think Ross County were certainly the better team in the second half they were pinning us back, we knew they would they are a good team they are favourites to win the league, so it was important for us to come up here and be compact and hard to beat. I felt we could have done a bit better on the ball, that was my only frustration today. I thought we could have utilised the width of the pitch and put a couple of more passes together. The first half, I thought we were excellent there was nothing in the game in the first half but after 65, 70 minutes we seemed to run out of steam and unfortunately I don’t have the options in the squad at the moment to go and freshen things up, Kevin Cawley had a back spasm in the warm up, that ruled him out, Iain Flannigan was suspended and we have another couple of injuries, young Reis Peggie came on and did fine but it is what it is - we are really disappointed it is going to be a big part of the season going forward where we have a group of players who were used to winning last season and now it is going to be how can we pick ourselves up and bounce back and go again and look forward to next weekend and look to put things right.

    Our players are fit but there comes a stage in the game we were just getting penned back and we were desperate for the final whistle, the timing of the goal was disappointing, if you lose the game 3 or 4 nil you hold your hand up, but over the piece today I felt we deserved a draw and a point, albeit Ross County were the most threatening going forward.

    I am still trying to get more players in to strengthen the squad, we have a couple who are just nearly over the line, it’s just one of these ones it is not done till it’s done! We thought we would have at least one of them in before today’s game, Ahmed Aloulou should be fit again for next week, Iain Flannigan will return after suspension and David Galt is still off with a virus he has had for the last month or so, we are missing big players when you have such a tight squad a players as we have it is difficult when you lose key players but no excuses fair play to Ross County they are one of the favourites to win the league, we wish them well but still disappointed we didn’t take a point.

    Jim Goodwin

     

    Jim Goodwin after Ross County defeat 

    28 July 2018 14:14:59

    Jim Goodwin after Ross County defeat

    It was a disappointing day, I couldn’t have asked any more from my players in terms of effort from the boys but I think it was just one game too far, to be honest we had four games in two weeks and we have a very small squad and I think that showed today. We were a little bit leggy I am being honest but in fairness I think Ross County were the better team on the day, there is no arguments there. I went to watch them against Arbroath and I knew they couldn’t be as bad as they were on Wednesday night and I was expecting a reaction and I think they got that, they were the better team. We didn’t create anything of note, I can’t remember us making Scott Fox make a save. We are disappointed to have got eight points from a very difficult group, but were nowhere near getting through in the end. We knew had to get at least a point, to achieve nine points before a ball was kicked today, as it is a point today would have won us the group. It would have been great but unfortunately it just wasn’t to be - We need to pick ourselves up now and look forward to the league campaign starting next week.

    I  think if you look at the goals we conceded today, there was not a great deal we could do about them, we defended a corner well initially and it was a ball knocked back into a crowded box which takes a deflection and goes in, it was not like we had been carved open. The second goal we were committing bodies forward which  wouldn’t have happened normally, so I’m not really bothered about the goals against it would be different if we had been getting picked off and lose the game to four or five goals I would be concerned, I’m not concerned the lads have put in a great about of effort in the last couple of weeks, we have been played well picked up some decent results, scored a lot of goals but the evidence is there that the squad is light and I will need to work hard this week to try and get some bodies in and help the lads out because I limited to the amount of chances in could make; I had a couple of defenders on the bench that realistically weren’t going to come on and change the game, the one change I could make was bringing on Adam Brown but it would be nice to have one or two more attacking options so that will be my main job before the transfer window closes.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin at Elgin 

    24 July 2018 18:43:38

    Jim Goodwin after victory at Elgin

    Good to get a victory at Borough Briggs for first time another good monkey to get off our backs, but tonight was just a good team performance; right from the start of the game the boys were excellent, the goals were obviously important and being 2-0 up at half-time, I then thought Elgin came out and were the better team for the opening five minutes in the second half, but the third goal really killed the game off, it was a great ball from Reis Peggie and Jake Hastie had an excellent touch over the goalkeeper’s head and that really killed Elgin’s momentum and we were able to manage the game from there on in.

    We have been in a very difficult group - Arbroath at home is a difficult tie, Dundee united another difficult game and then coming up here on a Tuesday night with all the travelling and everything else which could have been another difficult night but I think the players deserve a lot of credit for the way they went about the last two games, we have had three games in seven days which is very demanding on the players because how tight the squad is as well, we had a couple of suspensions tonight with Liam Dick and Iain Flannigan, two key players drop out the team and Reis Peggie and Jon Robertson came in and it was just like for like, that’s the beauty of having such a good squad, we still need to add to it, I think we still need two or three more bodies in, but quality and similar to what we have got and I think if we can get them in it will put us in a good place going forward.

    It now goes down to a home match against Ross County, with only the winner guaranteed progression but with home advantage our confidence is high and hopefully everybody will come through the game unscathed, we have one or two with little knocks so hopefully they don’t come to much, but the boys are in great spirits at the moment and it certainly makes the trip down the road so much easier but we are looking forward to the Ross County game, we will be underdogs no doubt, Ross County will be up there at the top end of the Championship table competing to get back into the Premier League but we know if we go about our business in the manner that we have done in the last three games then we will certainly give them a difficult game.

    Jim Goodwin

     

    Jim Goodwin at Tannadice 

    21 July 2018 16:58:32

    Jim Goodwin after winning Penalty shoot out against Dundee United

    I was really pleased with the overall performance, there was a spell after about twenty minutes of the first half I felt Dundee United were on top and they were on top for about ten minutes in that spell and they looked dangerous, but over the whole piece I thought the game plan was brilliant the boys carried it out to the letter, pressing them high, we knew they wanted to play out from the back, we went and locked on and caused them to make mistakes and kick the ball out the park and it eventually they started after ten minutes going long from their goalkeeper and played into our hands to be honest with Zac and Andy going to compete with Nicky Clark and compete for second balls. Early on in the game we had a number of chances I felt as well, half chances if you like, not clear cut chances but we certainly had the better of the early part of the game.

    The goal against is disappointing, it was a fantastic ball in from Fraser Aird and it is “Land of the Giants” with United’s centre backs six feet four and the big boy Adam Barton in the middle of the park, we’re not that big a team so that was always going to be a danger for us, we were disappointed to lose that goal in that manner but second half I thought we were excellent. We came out and really went for it, Jake Hastie in particular, I don’t like singling boys out but in particular a young 19 year old who really took the game to Dundee United and he caused their right back all sorts of problems and for me I thought he should have had a second penalty as well, and that maybe goes and kills the game and we could have gone back down the road with three points instead of two.

    I’m not having a go at the referee, I really like Steven he is one of the better referee’s in the country and a really good guy as well so I’m not going to argue over six inches but for me it was on the line and if it’s on the line it’s in the box that’s the rules. I thought it was a penalty but it doesn’t matter we will take two points at a difficult place to come, I think it is 40 or 50 years since Alloa last won at Tannadice, but we came here to win a game of football, to get that monkey off our back if we had scored the second penalty, but it was not to be, I thought the quality of the penalties in the shoot out were unbelievable - Taggart’s top corner, Spenny top corner, so really good quality penalty kicks, but big Neilly will get all the credit for the saves that he makes. The players put themselves forward and backed themselves, they have that confidence to go and do it, but I thought it was strange when we went and took penalties into an empty stand, I don’t understand that, I thought the games is about entertainment for the fans, so why take the penalties 100 yards down the park into an empty stand?

    It was a great afternoon for us, it puts us in a really good position, we now go up to Elgin on Tuesday night, the boys will need to recover well because as you can see we are a very tight bunch very low on numbers at the moment, so we need the boys to recover properly and go and have another difficult game at Elgin in midweek and only if we win that it puts us in a good position.

    Jim Goodwin

     

     

    Jim Goodwin on clinching promotion 

    14 May 2018 17:34:07

    Jim Goodwin on clinching promotion

    We had a great chat on Friday night about the number of times we’ve come back from behind to get results. The one that stood out in all our minds, was three or four months ago when we were a goal down to Forfar in the 88th minute, then Kevin Cawley equalised and Kris Renton got the winner in the 93rd minute.

    Nine times in all we have came back from losing positions this season, that’s testament to the players character, or call it resilience, call it never say die  spirit, but they’ve got it and I’m over the moon for them because they never stopped going for it, they never know when they are beat. I won’t lie, there were times when I wondered if the goal would come, and I knew time was running out but they just kept on going, I knew they would never stop, but it did and I also knew when it did and we went into extra-time, then we would go on and win, because fitness wise I doubt if there is a fitter part-time team out there,  I think over the two games who got what we deserved.

    These boys are a credit every single one of them, the ones that started, the ones who came off the bench and the ones who didn’t make this game, we lost a couple of key players in the build up to the game, that itself was a motivation for the other players. They deserve their celebrations I hope they enjoy their night, we will meet again on Tuesday and we’ll look forward now to next season, when the one thing I can promise is that we won’t go up there and grind out nil-nil results, we’ll go and try and play football.

    It was very hard to find space and gaps Dumbarton were very organised they almost play with a back six, so with twenty minutes to go we had to throw caution to the wind and move Andy Graham into the box, if we lost 2-0 or 3-0  at least we had a go and let’s try and win the game.

    The winning goal from Jordan Kirkpatrick, it’s just what he is capable of the loan signings I brought in January have definitely worked and made a positive impact to us but I don’t want to single any one player there were so many good performances.

    I’m over the moon for everybody connected to the club the board right down to the fans we have a lot of volunteers behind the scenes who really do a great job as well and importantly pleased for the players because you don’t get these kind of experiences often and I hope they cherish the moment tonight and enjoy it.

    It’s the best moment of my short managerial career there is no doubt about that, I certainly experienced some good moments as a player but this is different you put an awful lot more into things as a manager, you never stop thinking about the game and I can take a lot of satisfaction but I couldn’t do it without the fantastic staff behind me, help from the board and the chairman it is a real collective effort.

    Now going into the Championship I have a good core of players I want to take with me, I will sit down with them next week and make them offers and hope they will want to come with us, we just want to go and play the exact same way, I believe in the players I believe they are good enough to go and take teams on, pass the ball the way we do, it’s the way we train so we wouldn’t look to play any different. We will try and add more quality to the squad, I have already identified one or two whom I have spoken to, we are now a more attractive proposition now going into the Championship.

    Jim Goodwin

     

    Jim Goodwin after 1st Leg defeat 

    10 May 2018 04:05:08

    Jim Goodwin 1st Leg defeat v. Dumbarton

    Frustrated with the result tonight, would be the best word to sum up my feelings after the match, the boys did everything that we has asked of them, to go and play football, play the ball out from the back, play through the different thirds of the pitch we did all that and in the opening five minutes we were camped in the Dumbarton half and they get a breakaway and their first shot of the game goes in the top corner, so it was hard to take at the time but the reaction of the players was excellent. They kept on doing the right things, they never panicked and were very patient in the build up, we just couldn’t break them down, and that was the most frustrating thing about it.

    Dumbarton are very good at being compact, sitting deep and defending the box well and I thought they done that well, it is difficult we just need to keep going and “Keep Believing” that we can get back in the game, we will go to Dumbarton with the same mindset that we will still try to play football the way we think it should be played and hopefully get a break of the ball in the box because we had some good opportunities tonight - Jordan Kirkpatrick forced their keeper to make a great save in the first half when he tips to ball onto the post and later Callum Smith  had two or three good opportunities, one on one chances where I have to give credit to Craig Barr who slipped back in and got a very good block and then the second one the keeper makes a good save so on another night we would have scored at least one goal but unfortunately tonight we couldn’t quite do that.

    At the goal the TV evidence suggests the ball went out of play but I was right there and it was an obvious decision in my opinion, I’m not one for publically disagreeing with referees but it is difficult when you have the fourth official standing in the same position as me, in fairness to the linesman, I think “Flanny” is in the way of the ball but it was clearly out of play and its one of these ones if you are unsure you go the way of the defender but six or seven seconds after that the ball drops to Stuart Carswell who was an ex teammate of mine, I know I will not hear the end of that one, but I think he has two shots in his whole career and has two goals, so it’s incredible  it was a hell of a strike but that’s how football goes - sometimes you are better being lucky that good.

    Tonight I just wanted the lads to go out and play the way they had all season, I would like to see the possession stats and shots on goal, I can’t remember Neil Parry having much to do and I think their goalkeeper was the busier of the two keepers, I think we dominated possession of the ball I think in was 70/30 or something, the only thing that was missing was a goal. We will go away analysis the game again but I don’t expect anything different from Dumbarton, they get an early goal, sit in and grind out results, fair play to them they are good at it but I would rather my team go about business in the way we did and try and play football in the correct manner and hopefully we can get a goal on Sunday then Dumbarton will need to come out to try and win the game but at the moment I expect them to have a similar game plan to what they had tonight for the last eighty minutes of the game.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin reaching Play-Off Final 

    06 May 2018 16:57:44

    Jim Goodwin after reaching Play-Off Final

    Delighted with our overall performance in both legs of the Semi-Final Tie, we were the better team over the two legs; I don’t think anybody would disagree with that or the end result. Raith Rovers are a fantastic team and came so close to winning the League title, so we knew we would have to be at our best, but the players stood up to everything, to a man, right from the strikers back to the goalkeeper, they were outstanding, even the substitutes when they came on contributed and made an impact doing what you ask them to do and I thought we managed the games particularly well at times, particularly after conceding an early goal in the second half there was still plenty time on the clock from a Raith Rovers point of view to get another goal, we had to stand up to that and I just thought it was a great performance. We knew Raith Rovers would throw everything at us in the second half, we discussed it at half-time and we would look to pick our right moments to counter attack and get at them and I thought we did that really well. Obviously the last goal killed them off and we could all breathe an awful lot easier after that.

    It was a brilliant free-kick from Jordan Kirkpatrick only a week ago at the other end of the ground when their goalkeeper made a wonderful save but “Kirky” tried his luck again today and I don’t think he could have hit it any sweeter, however the kick-off after it was interesting, but the goal was a great moment in the game. There have been some very good individual performances from the lads but collectively as a unit they have been excellent, to be the only team to have come here all season and get a win it speaks volumes of what we put into it.

    Ross ran himself into the ground and it was fitting he got his reward with the winning goal, he has been outstanding since he came and joined us on loan, he is probably up there with the best strikers in the league there is no doubting about that, personally I believe he can move on to the next level, I think St. Mirren are lucky to have him, there is still a bit of developing to do for the big man but he has so many good attributes, he has been excellent for us as have a number of the other players as well. We have a number of our boys who have been named in the PFA Team of the Year which speaks volumes of what their piers think of them as well.

    Delighted but we now have another difficult game to look forward to next week so it is important we recover properly do the right things and get rid of all the knocks and bumps that we have picked up over the last couple of legs and make sure we are right to go again on Wednesday. I think Steve Aitken is one of the most under rated managers in Scotland, for the job that he has done with Dumbarton, to keep them in that league for the number of years he has is incredible. I think Brechin City showed how difficult it is when you go up to the Championship as a part time club, so I have the greatest respect for Steve Aitken and we know they are a very well organised difficult team to break down, I have watched them a couple of times live towards the end of the season and I have footage of them I have also been watching in preparation of next week, so we have done our homework we know what we have to do but I have said it before and I will say it again “ We don’t fear anybody” and I really didn’t care who we got be it Arbroath, Raith or Dumbarton, I know if our boys reach the level as they are capable of they are capable of beating any of these teams. To do that we have to defend as well as we have done up till now and we have players in the forward areas who can hurt anyone, we are really looking forward to it, we go with no apprehension what so ever and look forward to the game.

    Our support was great today, we are always grateful to our supporters, we are a small club but they can make a big difference and I thought they were excellent today, I would also like to say thank you to the Raith Rovers fans who stuck around after the game as well, I thought that was a nice touch and a class act from them as well, I have never seen that before the players certainly appreciated it but I think that speaks volumes how much they appreciated what we had done against difficult full time opposition not just how we managed to grind out the result but the way we tried to play the game overall over the two legs, let’s just hope we can now go and get the job done next week.

    Jim Goodwin

    Jim Goodwin after 2-0 victory 

    02 May 2018 18:54:12

    Jim Goodwin after 2-0 victory in Play-Off 1st Leg

    From start to finish I thought we were excellent tonight, it was a very professional performance, and we defended really well and looked particularly dangerous going forward. The only thing I could be critical of is one thing, we could have been three or four nil up to be honest with you, I think their keeper has made a couple of good saves in the second half, but if you had offered me 2-0 before the game I would have bitten your hand off.

    It puts us in a great position but I will be saying the exact same thing as every manager does in the Play-Off’s -“ Its Only Half-Time”. A two nil lead is a dodgy lead, at 2-0 ahead we are in a good position, much better than being two down, but I am aware of the fact that if Raith Rovers get an early goal on Saturday “Its game on again”.

    So we know on Saturday we will need to be disciplined, we will set up to be hard to beat obviously, and that’s two clean sheets in back to back games against Raith Rovers which I don’t think many teams have did that against them this season. There were some great individual performances tonight but I don’t want to name names because collectively as a unit we looked solid, so it is fair to say I am really pleased.

    Raith Rovers will be disappointed after the weekend and not having won the league it is difficult to pick yourself up after that disappointment but I just thought at 2-0 the message to the boys on the park was not to just be happy with 2-0, particularly when they went down to ten men I felt they were there to be got at. We did try, we had a couple of half chances, Kevin Cawley hit one and the keeper made a good save, Jon Robertson hit a shot which was deflected and the keeper managed to save it with his leg, Callum Crane broke well into the box but didn’t get his shot away and there were other opportunities we could have put the game to bed but as it stands right now we are in a good position but Raith Rovers are a very good side with dangerous players in their forward areas and we will need to make sure our concentration levels are the same on Saturday as they were tonight.

    Unfortunately Stevie Hetherington looks like he has picked up a medial ligament injury and likely to be out for next six weeks before he is back jogging, really disappointed for Stevie, he has been our “Player of the Year this Season” and consistency wise he has been excellent, so he is a big loss to us there is no doubt of that but at the same time Jon Robertson comes in and slots in brilliantly, that is the luxury I have as manager we have put a great squad together and at times like this when you lose players like Stevie Hetherington and PJ Crossan, we still have players who can come in and fill the gaps and we don’t look any lesser a team, so I am privileged to be in that position.

    Jim Goodwin

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