Reilly raring to go against RoversFriday, 30th Dec 2016
"We will go there on Monday full of confidence because we are unbeaten in six.
For Gavin Reilly a League Cup tie against Annan Athletic is the only match that could be called a Derby during his five seasons at Queen of the South but Queens didn`t have derbies in the way that Dunfermline do.
The on loan Jambo can compare the experience of an Edinburgh Derby in February with that of this season`s Fife Derbies against Raith Rovers and he described the drawn Scottish Cup tie against Hibs at Tynecastle, as one of the best games he has played in:-
"We were 2-0 up and chucked it away. If we got one up on Monday hopefully we could see it out. It would be nice to get one or two more but winning the game is the most important thing."
The Fife crowds may be slightly smaller but the clashes are no less passionate. Gavin described the effect that the travelling support can create:-
"It just lifts your momentum and your confidence. When you go out and see the big crowd there, you say `come on, we need to do this`. You go into every game wanting to win the game but the crowd does give you that lift.
"I am sure that it will feel a bit hostile. I thought when we went there at the start of the season we were unlucky and deserved more from the game. We will go there on Monday full of confidence because we are unbeaten in six. Hopefully we can keep that going but turn that into a win."
The 23 year old striker successfully came through ninety minutes in the Pars Under 20s earlier this week:-
"I had been on the bench for the last three weeks and got nine minutes on Monday. Once you have been out, you can do all the training you want but you do need game time, so it was good to get that. It was good to get a goal and a couple of assists.
"The goal was from 23 or 24 yards out, I just turned and I saw the defender going to close me down. I just hit it and well enough to go in."
Gavin was included on the bench without playing any Development League matches but really enjoyed the test at Lennoxtown on Tuesday night:-
"You need to get back to match sharpness and I feel fine after playing against Celtic. We were up against young boys who are considered to be the best prospects in the country. To come away with a three goal victory was great, I am happy to play in these games and help the young lads. There were a couple of other first team boys as well so I am sure it was great experience for them."
At any level, it is a somewhat rare occurrence - an away victory over Celtic - and it did come after a fast and furious start from the hosts.
"In the first ten minutes I was thinking `what the hell is happening here?` It was a wee bit of a battering but the young boys are good players and they pass the ball around.
"Once we settled into our game, especially in the second half, we looked dangerous, composed and we took our chances. Cammy Gill was brilliant in goals, he made three point blank saves. There is a lot of good players in the young team."
Allan Johnston watched the match from the dugout and cannot helped to have noticed how his first team squad players Ryan Williamson, Michael Paton, David Hopkirk and Gavin Reilly came through the game. Gavin showed no reaction in his come back from an inflammation of his groin. He explained:-
"At first they thought that it was a hernia but the specialist confirmed that it was not that, just inflammation. I have not felt anything from the time I was out. I have done my rehab and am now fit and strong and raring to go."
Gavin missed eight first team games throughout November until Boxing Day and he described the role of spectator as `the worst thing ever`.
"Every footballer will say that. It is bad enough on the bench but being in the stand is just so frustrating. You just want to get back out there and play.
"You feel that you could do something but you just need to keep your confidence up."
In recent matches Gavin has watched on as his team mates have made chances only to fail putting them away.
"At the other end though we have got a lot more solid, at the start of the season were very frustrating and leaking goals. Every game we seemed to go one behind and we were playing catch up. We made chances that we could have taken but we not been beaten in the last six. Hopefully we can turn a couple of these draws into wins.
"Even if we could get a couple of wins in a row, with the league that tight at the moment it could propel us up close to the play off places and that is where we want to be.
"At first there was a bit of a gap but anyone can beat anyone in this league. I have experience of playing in the Championship before and one week you can go and beat the team at the top of the league and the next struggle to beat the bottom of the league side. It is that close and we just need to worry about ourselves and hopefully we can a run of wins soon."
The experience with Queen of the South also tells Gavin how difficult it is to win at Starks Park.
"It has always been a hard place to go but it is at home that we need to be winning, especially against the teams round about you. If you get something from the away games then that is a bonus. Any place away from home is hostile and you are not used to playing there. Getting the home wins is important and hopefully we can start doing that too."
- Preview Raith Rovers
- Manager on Thursday
- Lee Ashcroft v Locke`s Rovers
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