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No time for hilarity as Annan aim for play-off spot

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Chris Jardine | 11:52 UK time, Thursday, 21 April 2011

A poor performance against Berwick Rangers last weekend means that we are still fighting for that play-off spot with only three games remaining.

We were warned by our manager Harry Cairney and assistant Andy Aitken not to take anything as given before the match.

Unfortunately, when you look at our performance on the day, it may have seemed as if we thought we were already over the finish line.

We made a late fight of it with a couple of goals in the last half hour and might even have sneaked something but that would have been daylight robbery and very unfair on Berwick.

They were better than us for an hour and by the time we had made our changes it was game over.

It almost always happens that teams with such a lead take their foot off the gas and personally I would put the late flourish down to that more than anything else.

Annan manager Harry Cairney will be hoping his players stay focused as they aim for a play-off place to reach the Second Division. Photo: SNS

Annan manager Harry Cairney will be hoping his players stay focused as they aim for a play-off place to reach the Second Division. Photo: SNS

We now have two huge games coming up against Stranraer and Arbroath before travelling to East Stirlingshire on the last day of the league season.

The performance needs to improve without doubt and possibly our approach to the game as well.

I've mentioned recently that our training sessions have been a lot more relaxed and lighter and I noticed that there was a fair bit of hilarity going on during the warm-up against Berwick.

At the time, it was great fun and I was fully involved in the banter that was flying around. When things go wrong, as they did at the weekend, you analyse things a bit more and perhaps we did take our eye off the ball slightly.

I'm very confident that won't happen again and everyone will be fully focused and up for the challenge that lies ahead; that starts at Stair Park on Saturday.

A few of the boys had a run-out in the reserve game at Queen's Park on Monday night and the rest of them trained in Glasgow. Unfortunately I wasn't in attendance as I was in Edinburgh at the beginning of the week to see Beady Eye.

I don't normally miss training and I was disappointed at this one because I would have played in the game. I told the manager as soon as I knew there was a game and he seemed fine with it but I suppose we'll see for real on Saturday when he names his squad!

I've recently been talking to people at the club about doing my coaching badges - Alan Irving in particular. In fact, it was him who brought it up. Out of the blue he came out and asked me if I had been thinking about it.

Now, initially I wasn't sure if this was a genuine conversation or if he was laying the foundations for the manager telling me my services were no longer required at the end of the season.

Alan is a very genuine man, however, so I knew it was the former and it's something I'm now very interested in.

I get very frustrated seeing young kids being coached and I feel there is far too much emphasis on winning at such a young age.

I think it also helps if you have played the game at a decent enough level and can actually show the kids how to perform the basic skills of the game and progress them from there.

Some of you may disagree entirely with me, of course; you might not think I can even do the basic skills myself!


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Chris

    A very fair assessment of the game with Berwick, however the majority of supporters felt that the "comeback" was due in no small way by your contribution when coming on and steading the ship and giving Annan a presence in midfield.

    Best of luck with the run in and hopefully you will have a contract for next season, maybe for Division 2 !!

    Best wishes - see you in Stranraer

  • Comment number 2.

    In my eyes, annan dont deserve to go up or even be in the play off position. They are very lucky with some of thier results and dont deserve to be where they are in the league. Other teams like queens park deserve to be in the play off positions as they have put in alot more effort, which reflected in the 12 game unbeaten run, they managed to fight from 2-1 down to a 2 all draw with arbroath last weekend which was an exceptional achievment as it means our hopes and dreams are still alive for a play off position. Annan get lucky and are inconsistant showing how they, in no way, deserve a chance to go up. I agree with you not being able to do the basic skills. kidding.

  • Comment number 3.

    Re: adam.

    You sir are an idiot... Annan are above Queens Park due to being more consistent. Thats why they have amassed more points. As for your comment about Annan not putting in as much effort as other teams... I mean if you have seen Annan play this season then you would know they are probably the hardest working team in the division... that's how they get results. As was evident at hampden when they recorded a 1-0 victory!

    One more win will put us in the play-offs and hopefully it comes on Saturday when I'll be there at Stair Park... 'Mon the Annan!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Best of luck Chris for the rest of the season, hopefully Annan can secure that Play-Off spot.

    It'll be a tough game today at Stair Park as Stranraer are a tough outfit.
    I'll go for 2-1 Annan.

    I have to agree with your opinion on too much emphasis being on winning at Youth level. Kids should also only play in the Summer as well when pitches and the weather is better.

  • Comment number 5.

    BeadyEye.You for real?

    Ned band.

    Pretty poor Chris.

  • Comment number 6.

    RE: glenny1711

    The one nil win recorded at hampden was no way deserved. They were rubbish and annan didnt deserve the three points at all. Annan were hardly in the qp half nevermind the box, and they had to resort to fouling every time qp got near the annan box which meant we couldnt score. Queens Park are only 3 points away from Annan, so everything could change. We beat albion rovers who are above you showing the hardwork WE ARE putting in and how a play off position is deserved. And by the way what was the score the last time qp and annan played... 3-0 to us on the 22nd febuary. CLAMPED!

  • Comment number 7.

    Great point for Annan yesterday.Hopefully the equaliser with 20 to go will give the team the kick up the **** they needed.

    I'd love Annan to go up.

  • Comment number 8.

    The reason Queens Park are not in the play off spots (just for now hopefully) is because of the horrendous start we made to the season. I have attended all four of our games against Annan this season and as the results show, two wins apiece, the teams are clearly evenly matched despite having massively different styles of play. Although i agree that we were kicked off the park in the 1-0 defeat at Hampden...

    'Mon the QP!

  • Comment number 9.

    mon the QP indeed kieranfriel07. all qp need is 3 points nd theyl be in 4th place, and its possible.

  • Comment number 10.

    Can I ask Queens Park fans purely out of curiosity...why is there no real investment in the club? You would think it would be an investors dream with the stadium & facilities that the club has. A club with the history of QP should not be languishing around the Scottish 3rd division! its only scottish football so wouldnt even require a massive amount of money to move up the divisions. Maybe im missing something??

  • Comment number 11.

    queens park want to stay as an amateur club for historic reasons. And they believe in playing for the sake of the game. not the money. Scotlands first team was made up of originally all queens park players, and thats how they came to the blue top, which also was originally queens parks home top, before they changed it to the black and white hoops.


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