An advance look at the programme notes for Saturday’s game against Annan Athletic
Whilst clearly delighted with the results of the last six league games, it is fair to say we haven’t achieved anything (yet!), aside from the increasing likelihood that the dreaded relegation play-off slot will be avoided.
However, mid-table mediocrity is not what we set out to achieve at the start of the season and it is entirely understandable that supporters would choose to reflect on what might have been, if our good run of form had kick-started sooner.
However, the reality, as opposed to the hypothetical, is that ‘We are where we are’ and the Exec Board’s focus remains firmly where it has been since appointing Dave Mackay, namely to support him in every way possible. The primary objective of this being to pick up as many points as possible over the course of the remaining eight league games. A play-off spot is still achievable but undoubtedly, we need some help from others along the way.
A fact, not an excuse, is that this season we have experienced by far the highest number of injuries, compared to previous seasons, under fans’ ownership and we have not flinched in financially supporting Dave to allow him to bring in players to augment the depleted squad.
We are also unquestionably extremely fortunate in having Kenny Crichton who is one of the best, if not the best, physios in Scottish football. He has been instrumental in getting players back to fitness in the shortest period possible, invariably achieved by getting the diagnosis correct at the outset and then ensuring the appropriate rehabilitation programme is in place – and followed!
It would also be remiss of me not to mention the role played by Dave, Ross (Forsyth), their backroom staff and, indeed, the players in bringing about our upturn in fortunes. They are solely responsible for putting a smile back on the faces of everyone with SAFC at heart.
Only one home fixture this month – I’ll never understand the SPFL’s allegedly computer-based fixture programmer – and I extend a very warm welcome to Annan Athletic’s chairman, Henry McClelland and his fellow directors, Jim Chapman, his backroom staff and players and, of course, all Galabankies who have made the journey north to Forthbank.
On a less positive note, having received several complaints from members of the public, following our home match versus Montrose at the beginning of February, regarding the general use of bad language and specifically incidences of personal abuse directed towards our players at full-time, the club safety officer and I took the decision to extend the ‘exclusion zone’ around the tunnel area.
I apologise, particularly to our younger fans, who like to get up close to congratulate (or commiserate!) with the players but the safety and well-being of everyone in the stadium is paramount. The club stewards have been briefed to be particularly vigilant re such occurrences and I would remind fans that action will be taken against anyone found to be guilty of behaviour that breaches our Supporters’ Code of Conduct.
My closing sentence in February’s edition was “I’m sure we all pray that March’s article reflects a more positive angle”. Under Dave’s direction, the players have most certainly answered that prayer and I’m sure our club chaplain, Duncan Strathdee, will forgive me for seeking further divine intervention for March, April and May!
And, finally, a big thank you to supporters who travel to away matches. The numbers attending and the vocal support provided at Cowdenbeath and Montrose was a joy to behold! Keep up the good work!