International Week | The Manager on RedTV
“I think it was important to go into an international break with three points.
“It was good we managed to bring a good performance as well as the three points.
“I think the players deserve a lot of credit for the way that they set about their task. They could have allowed for their heads to go down a wee bit on Saturday for passing up two or three really good opportunities that we carved up.
“Thankfully the first goal comes and we then get a second goal.
“I think we were well worthy of that and we spoke at half time about trying to keep a clean sheet and kick on with our attacking threat which we were really pleased with.
“Everything we never really had at the game at Kilmarnock, and I thought we worked hard at Kilmarnock and defended well, but we never really asked the question enough.
“The onus is on us at home and away to try and ask the question and I thought that on Saturday we got that balance a lot better. I thought the front three’s movement was better and they were ably supported by both full backs and Craig and Lewis.
“All in all, it was a good performance.
“We have had two wins and a 0-0 draw in the last three games. You would have thought going into the game we had been on a really poor losing run.
“I know that performances have to improve and we set a standard of performance on Saturday that allows us to get the three points.
“We have to maintain that level of performance and I am pleased with the way that the players have knuckled down after the disappointment of Europe.
“We won a tough tie in extra time (Dundee in the Betfred Cup), when the fitness side of things really kicked in from our players. We got a draw at Kilmarnock and a win on Saturday, I think the league table looks better with three points we are into the quarter final of the cup.
“We look forward to knuckling down when the players come back off international duty, getting some good training weeks in and getting some more polished performances from everyone.
“Everybody who has now signed for the club is now getting used to it. There has been a high turnover of players and hopefully that familiarity and connection kicks in with the club over the weeks and months ahead.”
“We are so lucky to have Sam.
“He is in good form, we hoped he would pick up from where he left off last season. I thought his performance was very good on Saturday. He gets his goal and he probably should score another but I thought he lead the line brilliantly. I thought he used his running power more than he did at Kilmarnock and when he is in that frame of mind he is a tough centre forward to play against.
“Regardless if he is playing at the top of his game he has always managed to contribute with goals and I think that every team is always reliant on that type of striker.”
“I spoke to Steve (Clarke) and told him that Mikey was going to playing against Ross County.
“We look at other clubs and see how many defenders they have got. We run with ordinarily six or seven, if I am lucky. By brining Zak (Vyner) in allowed us to bring in our seventh defender.
“When they are all fit, which is rare, but against Dundee and I think there was another game at Kilmarnock where we had six defenders fit; you maybe only have one defender on the bench. I spoke with Mikey and it is important for him to keep training properly, as he always does, he kept his head, kept his focus right so that when he was ready to go in, he would have that opportunity to stake his claim and that is the way it has worked out.
“He has had a good working week, he completes 90 minutes on Saturday and does very well in the game and he gets the added bonus when he is brought into the Scotland squad, it just shows what can happen to him.
“The good thing for him is he has that international manager who likes that familiarity and continuity of players who have been in the squad before and obviously Michael has been in it and I think it is something that he should strive for, keep his performances high for us, hopefully stay injury free and be part of in the international set up going forward.
“It is brilliant for him. I know what a brilliant boy he is. It is not easy for me leaving good guys like that out of the team and out of the squad but we usually only go with one defender on the bench but now he is playing he can look forward. Look forward to coming back from Scotland duty and playing against St Johnstone.”
“I understand that every manager and supporters would love to bring in more players.
“We tried to put our squad together early on.
“We have had nine players come in, which is a huge turnaround. We are fortunate that we managed to get the majority of the players that we wanted in and the majority of the positions filled and I am pleased with how the squad is shaping up.
“I think that if everyone is fit we can look forward to with optimism for the season ahead.
“Hopefully we can get one or two of the injured ones back.
“Hopefully Shay will be back for St Johnstone and Dean Campbell as well.
“The good work for us was done earlier in the summer.
“We have spent £125k putting the squad together. I am delighted that so many have come in and have settled quickly enough, added to the good players we already had here. It is important now that we knuckle down and get on with the job in hand.”