From the September issue of The Albion magazine
When you experience a difficult period like the one we have just had, it is understandable for emotions to come to the fore. Frustration and anger are common and perfectly forgivable but, as a manager, you cannot ever allow emotions to cloud your judgement or affect your decision making. Despite not totally performing to the levels we expect, or achieving the results we’d have hoped for, nothing has altered my belief in the quality of the squad we have or the work we are doing together.
I think it is important for us all to remember that it’s a 36-game campaign and a points total after five games means very little. With continual improvement of the level of performance we have shown during each of our matches to date we will have a fantastic chance of winning the amount of games required for us to achieve our goal. The one quality that will help us is resilience. Any successful team must possess that and we have already demonstrated that it is part of our make-up.
As a manager you find yourself continually asking questions. Aside from the usual ones about team and individual performance, results and events of late have had me asking myself ‘What is it we love about Football?’
I’m sure if you asked 100 different people you would get 100 different answers but, for what it’s worth, here are my thoughts. We love football because we admire human endeavour. We love football because, as with most competition, it has an unpredictability of its outcomes. Most of all, however, I think we love football because it brings us together. Human beings by nature are herd animals and, as such, like to feel like we belong to a group.
Whether you are a fan, player, board member, volunteer, or a part of the management team, Stirling Albion Football Club is our group and we all belong to it. We will accept criticism within our group when it is warranted and delivered with a purpose of making things better. What shouldn’t be accepted in our group is negativity in any way, shape, or form. Positivity breeds positivity and if we are unified in that we stand a far better chance of progress.
From inside the dressing room the news is encouraging. Phil Johnston has only a minor issue with his knee and should hopefully be available for selection for the Montrose fixture. Darren Smith will see a sports medicine specialist to finally rectify the knee complaint he has and we are hopeful of him being able to return to action before the end of the month.
Craig Beattie has shown initial good progress with the damage to his hamstring. We cannot place an exact timeline on his return to play but around Christmas time is the rough estimate at this point in time. Of course, we are delighted to welcome our two latest additions to the playing squad in Aurelien Mazel and Kyle Lander. Both will no doubt make a terrific contribution to the team this season.
As stated, we have had a difficult period but we hope that our victory against East Stirlingshire will set us on the road to a series of more positive results. There is no doubt in my mind that we will face the same level of challenges on the pitch as we have done during the past six weeks. What I’m also certain of is that we are better placed to overcome those challenges.
Thanks for your support.