Manager on Annan, injuries and trial players
Manager Greg Abbott gave us his reaction to the Friday evening friendly against Annan Athletic.
“I think this is one of those games which has come as a bit of a learning curve for our younger players,” he said. “Annan had a real determination to show they can match us and it has reminded people that they can’t just turn up and expect to win a game.
“We’re trying to get a determination in our group to take on any situation, whichever group we pick, because we have to have players who will give everything they possibly can.”
“We had some people who tried hard in this game but who didn’t play that well,” he continued. “We had others who were shocked by the way Annan approached the game and that caused them to play particularly poorly, or at least not to the levels we expect.
“I’ve just said to all of the players in the dressing room that we are going to have a really shallow squad in terms of numbers this year. Everybody has to be ready to play their part.
“The only people who can change your mind on where you think you are with the squad are the players themselves. This game will have done a few of them the world of good because they now know they have to be better.”
“I think Connor Thomson did really well again when he came on,” he agreed. “We’re keeping his feet on the ground at the moment but I will say that I was pleased with him.
“He’ll be with the squad for the Burnley game and we’ll have a look at whether or not we put him on the bench for that.”
And on his trial players, he said: “Lewis [Guy] had another game where he was alright. He looks lively and he knows he should have scored again.
“The service wasn’t the best for him in the first half but he kept working away. We’ll get the weekend out of the way and then we’ll sit down with him and see what we can thrash out.”
“We had a chat with Danny [Emerton] yesterday and he has left us now,” he explained. “I don’t think he’s any better than what we’ve got so we’re not going to persevere with that one.
“I’ll be speaking to Jordan Deacey on Monday. We’ll get the weekend out of the way and we’ll take it from there.”
Meanwhile he revealed some more encouraging news on the injury front.
“We’re hoping that Liam Noble will be back in training with us next week,” he said. “He’s looking much better so we’ll just have to wait and see. James Berrett might be involved tomorrow – that’s one we’ll assess ahead of the game.
“Sean O’Hanlon is one who will be missing over the weekend because he had an injection in his knee yesterday [Thursday] to help with a slight problem he has there. Thankfully that’s nothing too serious and he should be back in training with us on Monday.”
“Overall this has been a good night out for us,” he concluded. “Annan have some great people and they really look after us. We’re building some good relationships on a local level and we want that to continue.”