RoPS Reaction | The Manager’s Post Match Quotes
“I should be coming in here saying that it was such an assured performance for this stage in the season with our first game competitively against a team who are fifteen or sixteen games into their season. I thought our energy levels, our fitness, our intensity was really good.
“The supporters got a flavour tonight of one or two of the new signings, the speed of how we want to play, our use of the ball from the back and our slickness at times.
“I thought we were the better team and we should have scored another two or three goals tonight. We passed up real opportunities but sometimes at this stage of the season you are just missing that bit of polish. As the season goes along if we get those similar chances, we will be in a better position to take them.
“If we had done that then the goal we lost maybe wouldn’t have been deemed as such a body blow. It’s clear when you play in Europe at home the importance of keeping a clean sheet, the away goal can be very important. Credit to Rovaniemi as they kept going and you could see they were a good possession-based team.
“I thought we were the better side, it wasn’t the result I was looking for but it was the performance I was looking for. I always felt that we would need two good performances over two games but if we had taken our chances tonight we might have got it wrapped up. Now we have it all to do in Finland next week, but I am confident if we bring the same level of performance, we can get ourselves through this tie.
“We gave the ball away but we were still in a good position, we had two midfielders centrally and a back four in place. I thought it was a fantastic pass by Lingman, I am disappointed we gave the ball away at that stage in the game as I thought our use of the ball from the back was very good all night. It wasn’t as if we were caught up the pitch on a counter-attack, we were still in a good position defensively and sometimes you have to credit the opposition for that kind of passage of play but ultimately it was a sore one for us.
“We should be talking about the debuts, the positives of Hedges and Gallagher, the fact that Joe Lewis has had nothing to do all game, the control in the game that we had and the fitness levels we had. We can’t tear about for 90 minutes putting pressure on the ball but having had the game we will in better shape next week.
“We still got the ball into Cosgrove but there was a bit more thought with the pass into him and he linked the ball very well. We had a lot of speed in the team and thought that we would have a lot of possession and that the attacking threat of Gallagher and Wright would prove pivotal and I thought that the interplay between them and Hedges was at the heart of a lot of our good play.
“There is a chance that Bryson will make the game next week but with it being on an astroturf pitch and him just coming back from an ankle injury we will need to look at that, Greg Leigh is another one and I think if this had been the last game of the season instead of the first he would have played. Greg will train tomorrow and hopefully come through that, he just wasn’t 100% and we don’t want to be taking risks with two players who will be important to us.
“Ten days ago McGinn wasn’t even in with a shout of starting, we thought that he would maybe give us 30 minutes from the bench and even that was a long shot. I have just spoken about Hedges and Gallagher making their debuts, Scott Wright is still young and Sam Cosgrove is still learning the game so we felt that having Niall’s experience and calming influence would be pivotal for us. We didn’t think that he would last as long but credit to him, his goal was top drawer and his deliveries the whole night were different class.
“He can be really proud of his performance and has really pushed himself from a long way back to make sure that I picked him tonight.
“We have had a few bids in for players over the last while and a couple of them have been accepted but we still haven’t managed to secure the signings, I have left that with the recruitment team and we haven’t really spoken about that today. We are looking at various midfielders as we are short in there until Bryson gets back.
“All the players we have signed this summer there has been competition for it, I don’t expect there to be easy signings. Sometimes you only hear about the ones that we do get but there is a load more that we don’t get. I know the benefit for any player signing for my club, we can provide a fantastic experience for him, a platform to improve and the opportunity to further their career.”
“When the chairman approached me to the end of the season it was something that we said we would get done when we got a few players in, that was the most important thing. When you work with a chairman like I have for the last six years there is a lot of trust there and we knew that this would get done.
“Now that it’s done, I am absolutely delighted to commit. When I came in on my first day at Pittodrie I spoke about how I wanted to bring success here and deliver trophies and that I would be hellbent on making sure that would be the case and I sit here six and bit years on and that is still the case.
“I want to bring more success to this club and I look forward to getting in the new training ground, the new stadium, I am excited by the young players we have got coming through and the new signings that we have made and the squad that we are putting together.
“I am confident that we can be as competitive as we have been and that will allow us to bring more silverware to the club.