Managers Comments - August 2016

Aug 26th on the Rangers Post-Match: "It feels like a very good performance. I thought we were excellent. We have only been pegged back by a world-class free-kick. We have to knock the negativity around this football club on its head. It's not doom and gloom in our dressing room. It's a very, very long shot (that Chris Burke would sign). He's a fantastic pro. He's great to have around. It would be difficult but I would love it to happen. It's tough to single out anybody. We had five academy players in the starting 11, six if you include Barrie McKay in the Rangers team! It's a great credit to the people behind the scenes. They deserve a pat on the back. I've said that's the standard for our performance level."  -  Match Report

Aug 25th 2016 on the Rangers Pre-Match: “A match like this is one of the reasons I wanted to come up here. I keep telling the players — these are the games you want. It’s against a fantastic football club, an institution, and it’s a tough test. We’re really excited for the game, all the players should be. With it being on TV, it’s a chance for them to show what they’re about. They’ve got to embrace it. If they don’t, then they shouldn’t be in the game. We’ll respect Rangers but we don’t fear them. We’re at home and I believe we can get a result and we can win the game. I’m looking forward to the game. Oince we de–briefed Saturday’s game ,there has been a buzz about us. "
 
“Mark Warburton’s dealing in a completely different market to me. That’s the reality of it. I’ve just signed four players with the finances that we’ve brought in for one (Josh Magennis). Some of my lads haven’t hit the ground running and produced what we think they can. But we hope that, with continued work and belief, that they can do that.” 

Aug 20th 2016 on the Staggies Post-Match: "The two goals we lost were, without a shadow of a doubt, preventable. They were disappointing goals, to say the least. "The first came from a good bit of play from us, actually. Jordan Jones got to the by-line and they cleared the cross, breaking from the edge of their box.

"We've been disappointed with how we've defended. The second was very preventable as well, getting caught off the long kick from the keeper.  Football is about learning, about looking at your own performance and judging that and deciding which way you want to go. We have a long journey back now, but we have to make good decisions going forward. I thought we started the game brightly, we were more than a match for Ross County. We got down the outsides quite well. Young Dean Hawkshaw came on and did well. He was impressive - I really like him. We missed him last week after a head injury in the first game. It is difficult to assess fully without seeing the footage back after you've lost a game but you learn from the wins and you learn from the losses. That's what we've got to do tonight." Sporting Life 20-8-16 -  Match Report

Aug 19th 2016 on signing Luke Hendrie & Charlee Adams: "I know Charlee very well. I gave him his debut and he's gone on to play more games under Gary Rowett. He's had a couple of loan moves at Lincoln already and we've fought off some late competition to get him from clubs in League One down south, so we're very happy with that. He's a very dynamic, aggressive midfield player who can also play centre-half.When I got the nod yesterday that he was available, I was surprised but thankfully we moved very quickly to get him."

"Luke is an out-and-out right-back," he said. "We felt that with Greg Taylor being a young player, it would be hard enough coming into the first team without having to play a different position that he does normally.  He's done a sterling job but we felt we needed a specialist in there. Luke has had periods out on loan at York and at Hartlepool. He comes from good stock, I know his father (former Newcastle and Middlesbrough winger John Hendrie) very well.  We think he can give us something a bit different. We need to trim the size of the squad back but sending them out on loan means these players will be playing competitive football and ready to come back in January."  Sporting Life 19-8-16

Aug 16th 2016: “We’re working unbelievably hard to get some players in. It’s whether I get a direct replacement for Josh or whether I look to strengthen other areas. I believe we do have some real attacking prowess in our group so that might make me look elsewhere in terms of where I strengthen and where I use the money made available from Josh’s sale. Our organisation was good and then we conceded a really poor goal and we seemed to lose a bit of confidence and a bit of momentum. We decided to change things quite quickly in the second half. I spoke to the staff – over the phone – at half-time to tell them if things weren’t going to change we’d give it five or 10 minutes and then get Souley on.

We’ve done that and for the second week in a row, getting two strikers on the pitch has given us a bit of momentum. It has given us food for thought ahead of Ross County about whether we go like that from the start.”  David Wren - Daily Recoord - Aug 16 2016

Aug 13th 2016 on the Accies Post-Match: "I think the substitutions and change of formation helped us once again and obviously it's food for thought now because that's two games in a row when we've gone with two strikers and it's been a lot more positive for us.  Jordan Jones was outstanding. He's showed that in flashes during the course of the League Cup campaign but we need more consistency and today he's been very productive. Second game in, we've got three points on the board - we've won one, we've lost one - and I think our performance was probably better last week than it was today. But I think we're starting to improve without the ball. I felt we were quite poor at that and that's why we got hit with a couple of results like we did." -  Match Report        BBC-Aug 13th 2016

Aug 11th 2016:“Is it be frustrating to lose Josh? That’s life. We put up a fight, myself and the board, and tried to convince him that his future was here. But Josh made his feelings clear and he wants to go down to England and test himself. We can’t compete financially with clubs in England, Charlton are one of the biggest clubs in League 1. Now I’ve got to look to bring another attacking option into the club, I don’t know the ins and outs of the fee at the minute but Josh was one of the top earners so hopefully we can re-invest his salary and stengthen the squad.” David Wren - Daily Recoord - Aug 4 2016

Aug 6th on the Well Post-Match (on being sent to the stand inside 10 minutes by referee Craig Thomson).... "Apparently for foul and abusive language, I don't know if that was directed at an official, which I certainly didn't, I refute that suggestion 100 per cent. I would have thought that early in the game a conversation between me and the ref would have been enough. But it wasn't the only strange decision of the afternoon, was it?"

On Killies penalty when Souleymane Coulibaly tangled with Ben Heneghan...  "I've seen the footage a couple of times over and there could be a great opportunity for a penalty. What it certainly isn't is a foul against Souley. That's a double whammy. That was another strange one to add to the list."

On Josh Staying at Killlie... "The board spoke to Josh, who has been very receptive, and said if the club cannot agree a fee he is more than happy to come back here and give us everything.

"I had two conversations with the lad yesterday, I fully understood where he was coming from, would he have been in the right frame of mind to play for us? It was a very difficult decision so I just told him to have the rest of yesterday and today with his wife and young children.

"Thankfully as manager it has gone in my favour, I have to say this time yesterday I was planning on being without Josh. It's terrific news he is going to be part of what we are doing." -Match ReportSporting Life 6.8.16

Aug 4th on the Pre-Seaon & the Well Pre-Match:  “I’m disappointed that I’ve had to keep fielding the questions about my future because the story hasn’t got my fingerprints on it at all. The story has been written by somebody who obviously has a so-called source. The only thing that links me is the fact my name is in it.

"But I’m the one that fields the questions and who has to bat things off.  I have my commitment and loyalty questioned when that was certainly not the case. The people that should be answering those questions is the person who wrote the story and the person who gave them the information. That’s what frustrated me about it all. So close to the start of the season, I felt the group was beginning to come together, the staff and the players, and we didn’t need this.

"I certainly didn’t need it. 

“I’ve been really disappointed that the focus has been directed at me. I’ve known all along how much it means to the fans. I’m appreciative of the support and that’s why there wasn’t even an incline of me not fulfilling the obligation as manager. There was no way I wanted the questions vetted – I wanted it to be a frank and open conversation between me and the supporters who I have the utmost respect for. I knew there would be some tough questions but I wanted to give them my response and show where I was coming from.

“I know certainly where they’re coming from and I respect their opinions. Ninety–nine per cent of the points made I agreed with and I have the same feelings completely. I hope what Monday night (Open Night at the Park Hotel) has done is brought us all closer together to achieve the common goal. I need their backing and obviously they need me to deliver with the players. We want to be successful and, for me, when I drove away on Monday night I felt it was a very worthwhile exercise. But, as I like to say, it’s easy to talk the talk but you’ve got to walk the walk. We need to deliver now. They (Motherwell) have a lot of pace at the top end of the pitch. I know Lionel Ainsworth, him and Anthony Pilkington were my first permanent signings as manager of Huddersfield,  Marvin Johnson on the other wing is exactly the same as Ainsworth and then they’ve got the experience of Scott McDonald so they’ll be a threat going forward. They also have very experienced players throughout the spine of the team. I played alongside Mark in my early days at Newcastle and I have a lot of respect for him but I hope he’s the unhappy one on Saturday!”        David Wren - Daily Recoord - Aug 4 2016

Aug 3rd on Magennis Moving On: "We have shown our intent, we turned down the offer from Oldham Athletic, Josh indicated that wasn't something that would have interested him anyway, but we had already turned it down, so it didn't go any further. Josh has got a year left. Who knows? Josh has ambitions. We have talked about it, which I do with many, many players in terms of one-to-ones. I know what Josh's ambitions are. Who knows what's going to happen? We have to be ready. He has a year left, he is entitled to speak to anybody under freedom of contract from January, where the club wouldn't receive a penny. If Josh wanted something to happen in terms of a club coming in, which is hypothetical because that scenario hasn't arrived, it's very difficult.  It's quite similar to what Dundee have just experienced with (Kane) Hemmings. They didn't want to lose him but we know the world we are working in and we have to work accordingly."

"Who knows? There's still a couple of weeks to go. My concentration is on the league and the game on Saturday but I have been in this game long enough now to know something can just appear out of the blue and it changes the dynamic, You have to be prepared for those scenarios when they happen."Belfast Herald -  Aug 3rd 2016

Aug 1st 2016: “It would be huge to get a positive result in the first game. It gives you confidence, it gives you momentum. It sets things up nicely. We don’t want it to be a disappointing performance or a heavy defeat or anything like that. I believe the work we’ll do this week with the players will help.

“The work that’s been done in terms of our pre-season behind the scenes means the lads are in good condition.  But obviously the standard of performance hasn’t mirrored that. We have the belief that has worked in our favour because it’ll give us a sharp focus and we’ll be tuning in on what is required to beat Motherwell. They are all training tremendously well and their effort and commitment has never been in question. What has been letting us down is our knowledge and our game management. That’s something we’ll be planning and trying hard to improve.  Hopefully the 11 players who start can take us on to the result. David Wren - Daily Recoord - Aug 1 2016 

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