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The Manager | “very unfortunate not to come away with at least a point”

September 29, 2018 6:59 pm Author: AFC Media Team

“I’m disappointed with the result because I thought we put a lot into the game to get the result.

“It was clear we tried to go as positive as we can.

“A lot of teams come here and concentrate more on what they do with the ball, but we wanted to get the balance right between defending properly and carrying a goal threat. I think the team was set up well. We were positive when we had to be with McGinn and Mackay-Steven with a front two trying to play close together.

“I thought we counter attacked very week and we got some good moments in the game. A combination of a couple of missed chances, the wrong pass, a couple of good saves – Gordon making a good save from Gary – as well as Griffiths clearing off the line.

“I was pretty pleased with how we performed in that first half.

“You’re never as comfortable with the players Celtic have and there’s always a job to do. The game became a 45-minute game in the second half and we knew the importance of getting that first goal especially as that clock’s ticking.

“I thought we were well in the game with not a lot going on.

“We were well aware of the accumulation of minutes that we’ve had, especially with McGinn and James Wilson. Again, we still tried to be something similar which those changes we made and still tried to be positive.

“Normally you can place some sort of blame in the build up to a goal and have to look at yourselves but having looked at the incident again – the ball pops up from a deflected cross. Shay and Griffiths go for the same ball and Shay just can’t quite get there and it’s a good bit of skill from Sinclair. In those tight situations he’s found a way to get it past Joe and I can’t really blame my players for that.

“It’s just a scruffy goal in terms of defensively.

“I still thought we had good moments and the responsibility to score a goal lies with everybody not just the centre forward.

“We were guilty of passing up good chances at set plays and maybe putting it into an area where somebody’s in a better position rather than trying to score from 12 yards.

“Credit to the players though.

“It’s been a tough week for us and a good week prior to the game by getting three points against Motherwell and beating a very good Hibs side on penalties and again keeping a clean sheet over 120 minutes. We wanted to finish it as a brilliant week by getting a result here and I think we’ve been very unfortunate not to come away with at least a point today.

“I think it’s important to strike the first blow and we spoke about that yesterday.

“Certainly, with Celtic not firing on all cylinders at the minute and we were feeling quite comfortable.

“I never had the luxury of running 30/40 yards at speed and then having to execute a pass or a shot the way Gary had to for that chance. He left four players trailing in his wake and a six foot plus goalkeeper running towards him so there’s no blame.

“It’s a great chance for Gary, but it’s a fantastic run and epitomised his performance. I thought we came with a team to win and a lot of teams come here hoping to win and end up leaving with nothing. We’ve left with nothing, but we came with a team to win and we were very close to getting a result.

“We were just trying to get Gary and Shinnie to work off Brown and McGregor. When Rogic came on he is somebody that has punished us before, so we wanted Dom to deal with him and we wanted Gary to run off Brown which he did a couple of times. We tweaked our system to get our runners past Sam Cosgrove.

“I’m pleased with my team.

“We’ve had too many draws coming into today’s game. That was a defeat that can happen, but there was a lot of good about the side today and I feel as though we’ve had a decent week and we look forward to the next home game to try and get a run going.

“I know we’re going into an international break soon, but we’ve got some good home fixtures coming up soon as well. I’m confident we’ll have one or two more up to speed and confident we can be as competitive as we’ve always been this season.”


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