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Celtic Preview | Manager’s Press Conference

October 23, 2019 4:58 pm Author: AFC Media Team
Celtic Preview | Manager’s Press Conference

Derek McInnes spoke to the media on Wednesday to preview the Ladbrokes Premiership game against Celtic at Pittodrie.


Motherwell Game

“It was always going to be a tough game with the form of Motherwell. It has been well documented how well they have been doing.

“We had to bring a very good performance and thankfully the players were able to do that.

“It was a level that we have still got to try and attain most weeks when we can.

“Sometimes when you have these injuries you have to try and find the solutions. Certainly, on Saturday the evidence was there, and we were able to find a couple of real star performances from

Greg and Zak in particular.

“I thought Jon Gallagher and Sam Cosgrove were a constant threat and I thought throughout the back four were pretty solid.

“It’s just trying to make sure that we have that contribution in the forward areas as well as that solidity that we had on Saturday.

“There is an obvious concern when you have players playing out of position or a position that is alien to them, but good footballers are good footballers.

“I thought they could deal with that position, certainly Zak and Greg was an added bonus.

“The biggest drain of confidence for any player or any team is losing poor goals, it was good to keep the clean sheet as well as also carrying that threat. I thought we got the balance absolutely right on Saturday.

“Motherwell like Celtic are a team that will try and open up and play and ask the question of you. When teams try and do that against us, we have normally found our better performances and hopefully we can build on Saturday and get another good performance on Sunday.

“We will need that and more to get something from this game.

“There was no real surprise in the system. It was just trying to overcome a situation where we have not got Gleeson or Bryson up to speed, Ferguson is suspended, Scott Wright out for the season, Ojo out until January.

“We were without five fully fit centre midfielders. Sometimes through adversity, you get a positive outcome and I thought we got that on Saturday.”

Injury Update

“Stephen Gleeson played for an hour on Monday in the development game. That’s a step forward for him. We have to be fair to him, he has been out for a long time.

“Bryson has trained this week and hopefully he can put together another few training sessions ahead of the weekend. The signs are he is improving and getting to where we need to get to.

“Ash Taylor is doing fine and may well be back for the Kilmarnock game. Everybody else is as we are. Ferguson and Main are still suspended for one more game.

“Sometimes you just have to make do and I have always felt that the squad that we put together would be a competitive squad and as we try and meet the demand of what is expected here. When you put the squad together at the start of the campaign that is what you hope for. The proof is in the pudding at the end of the season.

“Although I have been here for six and a half years, it is probably my fourth different squad that I have put together in the summer there. I am confident that this squad can meet the demands that others have met.

“We could do with getting a few bodies back. Ferguson, Main and Big Ash coming back after Celtic, hopefully we have a few more options. That’s always good to have that competition.

Recent Form

“We are doing away okay.

“We lost heavily to Rangers which is the real blackmark against us, the real one that is disappointing. Other than that, we have won in recent games. We won away to Livingston, won away at Motherwell, drawing with Hibs with 10 men, drawing with St Johnstone.

“It hasn’t been a disastrous run of form. I always feel that if we can get through this period with injuries the improvement will be in the team. I have no doubt things will get better as we go along. We need to make sure we keep picking up points as we get to that and hopefully by the turn of the year, we are sitting in a position we are satisfied with.

“We have just got to keep working away. Keep your shoulder at the wheel and keep picking up points. Keep trying to put that demand on the players, regardless if one or two are playing out of position and search for that higher standard.

“I thought we got that standard of performance on Saturday that allows us to win the game at both ends of the pitch and all the work between both boxes was very pleasing.”

PIC OF …. MANAGER Derek McInnes

A full preview of Sunday’s game will appear on the website on Friday.