'We must rectify slow starts to games' - Gala Fairydean Rovers gaffer Martin Scott eyes improvement this weekend

Gala Fairydean Rovers boss Martin Scott reckons slow starts to games are leaving his side with a mountain to climb, as was the case in Saturday’s 3-1 Lowland League defeat at University of Stirling.

By Craig Goldthorp
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 10:59 am
Gala Fairydean Rovers manager Martin Scott, alias Jimmy (Photo: Thomas Brown)
Gala Fairydean Rovers manager Martin Scott, alias Jimmy (Photo: Thomas Brown)

Rovers found themselves 2-0 down to early strikes by Jamie Penker and Jason Jarvis and although Zander Murray pulled one back for the visitors on 84 minutes, Stirling Uni sealed it late on with Scott McArthur’s goal.

“For me the game was pretty much a carbon copy of the Bonnyrigg game (a 3-0 home defeat for Gala the previous Saturday),” Scott said. "So that’s something we need to rectify going forward.

"We need to start better in the game to give us an opportunity.

"The frustrating thing for me is I know we can play the way we did second half against Bonnyrigg and for large spells of the University game, when we were very dominant.

"But we’re giving ourselves too much to do from the start of the game.”

The option is there for Scott to continue as a player but the 35-year-old ex-Ross County and Hibs striker remained on the bench at Stirling.

"I thought it was better to focus on managing the team from the side,” he said.

"Further down the line, playing is something I might look at but I’ve got full confidence in the players at the moment that they can turn this round and we can start picking up positive results.

"If I can help that then so be it but I’ve been really happy with the preparation of the team in the last two weeks.

"They’ve taken all the information on board. We’ve just been on a bit of a sticky run from probably after the turn of the new year.

"But we’re working hard doing everything we possibly can to rectify that and we’re always positive going forward.”

Scott is at least buoyed by the recent displays of the aforementioned Murray, his goalscorer against Stirling Uni.

"Zander’s been absolutely brilliant,” Scott said. “He’s a real goal threat in that final third.

"And we’re working on trying to feed these guys, give them opportunities to convert but also be more solid at the back and as a unit.

"We want to be a much more difficult team to play against and harder to beat.”

Murray now has attacking back-up at Gala from right winger Ryan Schiavone, 18, who has joined on loan from Hearts until the end of the season and came on as a substitute at Stirling.

"Ryan will bring a different dimension in terms of attacking play,” Scott said. “Anyone who was at the game on Saturday will see he has got bags of pace, he’s very direct, can carry the ball well and he gave us a real lift when he came on.

"That’s a really good bit of business for Gala. Obviously he’ll develop playing in our first team so that will help Hearts as well.

"And Hearts have been fantastic in terms of the loan deals and the connection we’ve got with the club this year."

Gala, 11th in the table with 31 points from 23 games, visit ninth placed Dalbeattie Star in the league this Saturday.

"Dalbeattie have had a good run,” Scott said. They beat us earlier this season (a 2-0 Star win at Gala in August) and I played in that game.

"They are very well organised, good players in forward areas and I’ve done some research on them as well so I know it’s going to be a tough game.

"It’s important that we keep doing our homework, keep realising that the opposition are not just going to let us pop the ball about the way we want.

"We’ve got to earn the right to do that.

"Hopefully it will be a different game this week, first 20 minutes anyway, and then we can get a foothold in the game and see where it takes us.

"I will probably be available for selection but it’s a difficult one for me.”