In safe hands
CAMBUSLANG Rangers boss Alan Wardlaw has praised keeper Glenn Weir for playing through the pain barrier on Saturday.
Weir, who has played in the side’s previous two league games since Jon Connelly started a three-match suspension, has come in to star between the sticks for the Somervell Park side.
And with that suspension now finished, it means the manager faces a tough decision this weekend, in deciding whether to keep faith with the man who’s helped the side to three successive wins.
On Saturday, Weir gave the boss plenty to think about, playing well against Maryhill despite badly gashing his face with only a few minutes on the clock.
Wardlaw said: “Special mention has to go to Glenn Weir in goals. Within two minutes of the kick off, he was at full stretch making a save, but injuring his face. He’ll probably need stitches as a result of it.
“There was an inch-long gash under his eyelid, which was pretty bad, but he stayed on the park and managed to recover, and made a couple of very good saves.
“Since he came in, Glenn’s done very well and I’m very happy with him, as we now have two very good quality goalkeepers, and it’s a fantastic situation to be in.
“In my two and a bit years here as manager, we’ve gone through a handful of keepers, but now we’re in a position where we’ve got two guys who are more than capable of making the jersey their own.
“Jon is a very good keeper, and Glenn came in as his back-up knowing the situation, and he’s grabbed his chance with both hands.
“Credit too has to go to Graham Doak, Ross Donaldson and Carlo Rea. They all missed out on game a few weeks back as I felt they had gone off the boil a bit, but they’ve been dropped and now come back in, and it’s worked wonders.
“They’re all playing to a very high standard and I couldn’t be more happy with them and their attitude.
“They were given a kick up the back side, but have come back and proved my point.”
The praise for the trio’s attitude came in the same week that Carlo Santi has been placed on the transfer list.
The boss explained: “This season, I’ve found it disappointing with certain individuals that their expectations are unreasonable.
“For example, Carlo Santi was left out of the 16 on Saturday and took it badly.
“However, he had been missing the week before as he was away on a stag weekend, then expected to get straight back into the playing pool for Saturday’s game, while I left out another player who had been along the previous week and not missed training.
“Now that I’m in my second full year with the club, we’ve now got a situation that we’ve not had before, in that we can afford to leave players out of the match day 16.
“In the past we’ve struggled to name the full complement of subs, but now we’ve built up a squad where no one is guaranteed a place, from the goalkeeper to the front line.
“We want players who will fight for their place in the team and give 100 per cent effort for this club. If you don’t, then you’re not with us. We don’t want people who are selfish and self-centred.
“If playing for this club was that important to him, why wasn’t he here the previous week?
“There’s been other examples of this throughout the season from other individuals, but no one is bigger than Cambuslang Rangers. We won’t hold on to players who don’t want to be here.
“Now, we’ve got a pool of 18 with four or five trialists from amateur clubs around the fringes who we can call on.”
This Saturday, the Lang will travel to face Dunipace in the second round of the Central League Cup, currently sitting in the lower half of the second division table.
Alan added: “We know we’ve got Thorniewood in our next league game, but we’re not looking beyond the Dunipace game in the cup.
“I don’t know too much about them this season but I’ve spoken to my old East Kilbride Thistle team-mate James Orr who’s one of their veteran players.
“He’s told me they are a very young side with lots of pace, and will run all day for you.
“We won’t alter things a great deal with the formation, as it’s a very good opportunity to bring in guys who have maybe been on the fringe of things, and maybe give them a run out in a competitive game.
“It gives them the opportunity to give me some more headaches, but at the same time we won’t be underestimating Dunipace.”