Football: No festive slacking for Glens squad
WILLIE Harvey has warned his Glencairn players not to get too relaxed over the festive period because there will be no let up in training.
Although the Glens have knocked back the chance of a competitive tie on Christmas Eve, Willie fully intends on booking a park for a training session and possibly another friendly.
Glens made a return to action on Saturday, albeit in a bounce match with the under-21 squad, and Willie is determined to keep that going.
He has managed to get a 3G surface at Glasgow Green again this Saturday should the West of Scotland Cup game fall foul to the weather.
And after nearly two weeks without even being able to train, Willie has been delighted with the work of the past seven days.
He said: “I will continue to try and book parks, every Saturday I can, right through if I can help it.
“There will be a training session on Christmas Eve. I want as much game time as I can get because that will stand us in good stead when we get back.
“Because we never took a game on Christmas Eve the league might not give us a let to play a friendly, but that’s the great thing about the 21s, we can play them and it is just a training session.
“We were able to train last Wednesday and then had a good workout on Saturday and a solid two hours last night (Monday). Obviously we’re disappointed it’s not been competitive action but overall it’s not been to bad.
“You always get a good game against the 21s because they are so keen to impress and we were glad to get 90 minuets under our belt.”
The need for some football meant the 5-3 victory over the youths was largely relegated to secondary status behind regaining some match sharpness.
Willie did notice a few cobwebs early on, but they soon faded. The game also let him experiment with a 3-5-2.
New signing from Neilston, Brian Eadie fitted in alongside Andy Ward and Andy Neil, although Willie says that doesn’t mean he was looking at a long-term change in shape.
He said: “The first 15 minutes you could see we weren’t sharp. It was obvious we had not seen much football while they had been playing games, but we got better and stronger as the game went on.
“We played a different formation with three guys at the back who had never played together, so that made us rusty as well.
“The 3-5-2 gave us the chance to see the three of them together. Andy Neil has played really well and that’s meant Andy Ward hasn’t been playing as much. Brian Eadie hasn’t played for two or three months.
“Despite that he got stronger as the game went on and showed the class player he is, and will be for Glencairn. Andy Ward came through well and also got stronger while Andy Neil was his usual self.
“If you get a friendly it gives you the chance to try out a new formation before you see it in real action. I’m not rigid but 4-4-2 is a formation I like.”
Willie will now set about preparing the players for the visit of Cumbernauld on cup duty this weekend.
Glens have already beaten the North Lanarkshire men in the league this season, although the performance wasn’t one that caught Willie’s eye.
The gaffer also admits that the fact it’s a cup game will take some of the pressure off if the bad weather relents and the game goes ahead.
He said: “I want to win every game, but I suppose it’s not as bad if it’s a cup game rather than a league game.
“The only thing I took from the last game against them was the fact we came back from 1-0 and then 2-1. I was impressed with the fighting qualities.
“That was a bit of a turning point for us, the confidence started to come back a little. I was pleased with the way we battled back.
“I seldom say anything derogatory about the players and that’s because their effort is not in question. You can’t be brilliant every week but you can always give 100 per cent.”