Sunday, October 25, 2009

Turning back the clock

The clocks have gone back. How did you spend the extra hour? This year I decided not to waste it squeezing in yet more alcopops or sleeping off the day's excess.

Instead I've chosen to resurrect an old favourite. The Sunday Post of my childhood used to run a "What They Said" feature on the back page. This involved collating quotes from each of the Premier League managers about their team's performance.

From memory Graeme Souness would be celebrating another victory, Billy McNeill would use the phrases “To be honest” and “All credit” more than was previously thought possible and Alex Miller would celebrate a clean sheet while berating his team for not scoring at the other end.

I'm not sure if The Sunday Post< still do this. I've not read the paper since an interview there descended into what I can only describe as passive aggressive sectarianism. Not only was this ultra offensive it was also hugely misdirected given my childhood as a mainstay of my parish church's nativity plays. Still, that's DC Thomson for you. A particularly modern and forward looking firm. If you happen to live in the 1920s. So for a special Sunday treat and as an homage to the golden age of newspapers that The Sunday Post of the 1980s so vividly embodied here is “What They Said:”

Aberdeen 0 – 2 Dundee United

Mark McGhee
We had great chances, so it was an unnecessary defeat. It was not just Fraser Fyvie, who went on to have a good game, but international players like Lee Miller. We said before the game that it would be difficult to defend set-pieces in those conditions and they took advantage of that in the first half. The missed chances are the one disappointing aspect as we matched them all over the field and I'm satisfied that we are making progress.

Craig Levein
We had an added incentive as Mark had a little go and the players felt slighted at the comments that he made in the paper during the week there. I did not have to say anything. He gave the players the motivation and my team talk was easy. Any time you come up to this stadium, it's difficult to get any points from the game, so I am really happy. These were two teams that tried to play football, but the horrendous conditions would not let us. They had two good chances, but we had some astonishing misses as well.

Hearts 0 – 0 Falkirk

Csaba Lazlo
It's not the best result for us and with the chances we created we could have been 5-0 ahead. I can't always defend players and say they need time. In professional football you don't have a lot of time. We need the fans to support us.If you don't score goals then you don't win games. How many teams can create five or six chances in a game?

Eddie May
It's a fantastic result coming here, we have come to a very difficult venue against a good Hearts team. The demands I put on the players are very high and sometimes they have been fantastic, we have to hit a consistency for the season. The referee did extremely well, we would have had no complaints if he had sent Darren Barr off for a challenge on Suso Santana.

Kilmarnock 2 – 0 St Johnstone

Jim Jefferies
The main thing was to get up on the game and get competing for the ball. Once we started winning our battles, we started playing far better. We stopped them causing us trouble - they were on the back foot a lot of the time, and Kevin came up with two cracking goals, especially the second one. But today I thought our midfield were great in the second half, because they were non-existent in the first half.

Derek McInnes
We totally controlled the first half and got in good areas but did not make the goalkeeper work hard enough. The second half was in total contrast and we got what we deserved from our second-half performance and the goals we gifted them. If you don't make the most of your dominance, it can come back to haunt and it did that here. I am getting fed up saying it and answering the same questions, but it it is up to us to sort it out.]

Rangers 1 – 1 Hibs

Walter Smith
We're disappointed from that point of view that the boys didn't get a reward for that. We created by far the more opportunities to win the match but Hibs, after about 70 minutes, found themselves still in with an opportunity and they had a couple of chances to get a win nearer the end of the game. So, all credit to them for coming and playing in the manner in which they did. From our own point of view, it was a good performance, there's a bit of disappointment that we didn't manage to win it. The boys today, considering the problems that we're beginning to have injury-wise, played exceptionally well.

John Hughes
But, being the manager of Hibs, I'm so proud of my boys. We wanted to go and have a go at them and, on another day, we could've won the football match. We could've lost as well, Rangers missed some real good chances. The game was end to end. I think the boys showed a lot of character. Graham Stack was absolutely outstanding in goal. Liam Miller was possibly the pick of the bunch in midfield, it's a pleasure working with him. Right through it all, I think we played some good stuff, created chances, got our goal - it was a fantastic goal from Anthony Stokes. Allan McGregor had a lot of saves to make for Rangers. I'm really pleased that the boys came here and showed everything I asked of them and that we took something from the match.

St Mirren 3 – 3 Motherwell

Gus MacPherson
I'm extremely frustrated and disappointed, because I think we played well and worked hard. Motherwell are a good team, but we worked hard when we didn't have the ball to try and stop them from playing. We got our rewards for that, we got ahead - but we should have been more ahead at half-time. I don't think the penalty was the turning point, because we reacted superbly to an injustice. As a team, we worked hard as a unit and we played well. It's just so disappointing, this situation.

Jim Gannon
I'm disappointed with myself and the way the team approached the game. Before I look at the players I look at whether there are lessons to be learned. It wasn't an inquest, it's just that this is a game probably more than any other game we have got a lot to learn from. It was fortunate that we got the second goal when we did but the game was far from over at that point and it instilled a bit of life in our players. I think the substitutes gave us a little bit extra.

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