After watching his side score four times it was an understandably happy Jackie McNamara that ptfc.co.uk spoke to at the end of last night’s game with Ayr United.
“I think going in a half-time at 1-1 was a bit strange. It was one bit of slackness from us that gave them their goal and that is something that we will need to get rid of. That was just about their only effort of the first half and they had another shot in the second half from about 25 yards out. Other than that we were very comfortable, dominated and got a few goals, some good goals, before the end and it could have been a few more. Their keeper had a couple of good saves in the first half, one from Christie Elliott and another from Steven Lawless.”
As pre-season progresses it is all about gearing up for the start of the competitive action which is just about a week and a half away. Said Jackie;
“We’re trying to get the players into game mode and do everything right in terms of being switched on at all times. That’s why it was disappointing to lose the goal in the way that we did. In the first have we were trying to get the players to come out a bit more. We hit a few longer balls and a couple of diagonals to try and find space rather than having the ball right in front of them all the time. That helps stretch the game, and makes the game a bit longer which allows us to find pockets of space for the likes of Steven Lawless to run into. We saw that in the second half as well when Chris Erskine came on and the space started to open up for him to run at them and he and Steven got a lot of success doing that.”
There were a few words of praise from the manager for Steven Lawless (pictured below), who took his pre-season tally of goals to three from the two matches played so far.
“I think the fans that have seen him play can see that he has plenty of ability and talent and he should prove to be a great signing for us.”
The manager also took the opportunity to try a few things, including deploying Aaron Muirhead in a right wing back role
“We tried a few more things out tonight. All the different systems that we have tried, and players in different positions, have worked well so far. I think Aaron Muirhead can play in the role that we gave him tonight. He’s comfortable, and you can see when he gets into that last third as well that he can link up well. His aggressive in the air and he won a few headers. Over the piece I think that all the new boys have settled in really well, better than we could have asked for.”
The one downside to an otherwise all round positive night’s work was an injury picked up by Aaron Sinclair as the game neared the 90 minute mark.
“Aaron took a bang to the ankle that he injured previously and he’s got a bit of bruising to the bone. I think he is a little concerned that it is the same ankle. It’s just one of these things that takes time and we need to be patient with him and make sure that he comes through it okay. It’s not his ligament and as I said he’s got some bruising to the bone which is a pain.”