Manager on ThursdayThursday, 7th Apr 2016
07/04/16: First three players re-signed
Allan Johnston was pleased to have three of his current players sign new contracts on Thursday. Cammy Gill, Ryan Williamson and Sean Murdoch. Ryan and Sean's contracts are for two years, Cammy's for one. The manager was pleased that they committed their futures to the club and started off talking about his first choice keeper:-
"When you look at Sean Murdoch and what he has achieved this year, he has been a fantastic keeper and one of the key players behind the success that we have had. I am delighted to get him signed up."
Ryan Williamson has been out since August but the manager said:-
"He started the season incredibly well and got a really bad injury obviously. He has come back and looks as though he is flying again so we are delighted to get him signed up..
"Young Cammy Gill is another one with a lot of potential. He seems to be getting better and better. For such a young lad, he has played a lot of under 20 games this year and seems to be progressing really well so he is a good one to keep a hold of."
Referencing the two year deals to Ryan and Sean AJ continued:-
"They are players who can easily step up a level. They have shown that already this season and in previous seasons. They are good players and that is what we are wanting at the club. Hopefully there will be a few more that can be signed shortly."
With the manager understanding that his players have to consider their own best interests when it comes to contract talks, he added:-
"Hopefully they realise that this is a big club, the potential that it has got and where we want to be and they want to be part of it. I think that they have enjoyed this year and it will be good if we can keep the majority of players because they are all good players. I have said before many times that they can play at a higher level.
"I am sure that there are a lot of teams looking at our players as well and trying to bend their ear so we can only try our best to try and keep them."
Focus now comes back to Saturday's home game against Forfar Athletic. The manager thinks that it will be a much improved team that form the opposition from the one they faced last time around on Boxing Day in Angus:-
"When you look at the team's Forfar fielded in the previous games against us this season, it is more or less a whole new team. They have a bit of pace about their team, they are scoring goals but it is a good game for us as well. It is a good chance to give some others a chance, go and play and express themselves without a lot of pressure. Hopefully they will put on a good performance."
So having admitted to changes the manager continued:-
"It has been a settled team for the majority of the season. I think they have to have a chance to go and play. We know what the majority of players can do because they have played week in week out."
Reminded that the new Ladbrokes League One champions struggled to eventually score a winner last Saturday at Cliftonhill, Allan Johnston said:-
"I think at Albion Roves every game this year has not been a pretty game. They are a really stuffy team, they sit behind the ball and look to hit on the counterattack. The pitch is really difficult to play on so hopefully Saturday will suit us a lot more."
Catch phrase of Allan Johnston is "winning is a habit" and he is keen that these habits continue through to the end of the season. Keeping the tempo at training upbeat and to the right standard.
"You can see with the quality of players that we have got, it doesn't matter who is playing, we should be good enough to beat the teams that we are playing against."
There were a couple of knocks taken last Saturday but the manager is happy that Sean Murdoch who missed the Albion Rovers match, was back in training. Craig Reid trained on Thursday having got over the swelling in his knee. Other than that everybody save long termed injured Callum Fordyce should be available for selection.
Ben Richards-Everton is suspended but Josh Falkingham has served his one match suspension.
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