Team news ahead of our final home game of the 2020 league winning season:
Did you and the players have a great night with the trophy and medal presentation after the St Pat’s game?
“It was a great night for everyone involved in the club, the players and staff because we’ve had to be patient as we won it a few weeks back. There’s nothing like getting your hands on the trophy and getting your medal so it was a great evening.”
The joy on the faces of all the players and staff was evident, how much did it mean to all of you to finally have that moment?
“It’s what you work so hard for. At the start of the year your aim is to try and win the league because it’s the main competition and when we go and achieve that it’s special because you know the work that’s gone into it. So you could see that with everyone’s celebrations and the joy on everyone’s face.”
What did you think of our performance against St Pat’s?
“We were OK in patches and sloppy in other patches. That’s to be expected considering the layoff we’ve had. It’s our second game back. I think you always get away with the first game after a layoff because that bit of adrenaline usually gets you through it but it’s the second or third game that catches you and it looked like that one caught us. We weren’t our usual selves. We created some chances but I thought we were just OK. ”
Pat’s pushed us high up the pitch and had good spells in both halves, did they really raise their game on Wednesday?
“It was a bit of both. That’s probably the best they’ve played in a long time and we were a bit off it. So when you combine both that’s what you get. I think it’s a different game if we’re playing regularly and we have our legs and games under our belt. The pleasing thing was that even though we weren’t at our best we didn’t concede, which was important.”
Alan Mannus made some important saves, did the team have to dig in especially when down to ten men for the last 20 minutes?
“We did but I think this team has shown on a number of occasions that it doesn’t faze them. It’s obviously not ideal going down to ten men but we know how to deal with it, we’ve trained for it and they’re ready. They dealt with it really well and worked hard for each other and never panicked.”
You weren’t planning on introducing Jack as early as the 24th minute but unfortunately we lost Graham to injury…
“Graham just went over on his ankle but he’s OK. He was fine after it but we just didn’t want to take any chances because it’s the ankle that he hurt in pre-season, so we took him off. We didn’t want Jack to come on quite as early as that, we wanted to get him on at half-time but it’ll do him no harm because he hasn’t kicked a ball in five or six weeks. Jack is at his best when he’s playing regular football so those 70 odd minutes will be good for him.”
How good is it to have Jack back healthy and well because he had a bad dose?
“He got hit pretty hard with it. He was the worst out of our players that got Covid. He’s only back on his feet the last week really, he only trained a few sessions and only one of those was a full session. He’s been hit hard the last few weeks.”
How is everyone else for Saturday?
“Neil Farrugia is out, he was injured with the Ireland Under 21s. Gary O’Neill is probably still another few days. He got a knock a couple of weeks back and it hasn’t settled like we hoped but hopefully he can be involved on Monday.”