IN THE DUGOUT | Feb 26th | SOMETIMES football is played...
By IAIN KING, Head Coach, BSC Lowland League brought to you in association with Sport Careers
SOMETIMES football is played inside – inside your head and inside your heart.
That’s when you often find out what you need to know about the players you are working with.
It’s fair to say that this week we got more searching questions than the answers we wanted in a bounce game with East Kilbride Amateurs at Scotstoun on Monday night.
I wasn’t dejected by the scoreline, a 5-3 friendly defeat against a side whose talents I know very well.
We gave the first-team defence the night off and this was a chance for others to shine and stake a claim for a place in the SFA Challenge Cup quarter-final at Vale of Leithen on Saturday March 7.
No, what disappointed myself and the coaching team the most was the lack of desire to do the ugly part of the game and shut players down in the driving rain.
We are nowhere near good enough yet to slack off on that side of the game yet we did it. Almost to a man.
It showed to me the creeping malaise that can set in throughout the stop-start nature of this biting winter.
You gain momentum in the 3-0 win at Spartans then disappoint in a 0-0 draw at Preston Athletic.
Throw three goals away at Edinburth City, then look focused, sharp and hungry in a 4-0 Cup win over Wigtown and Bladnoch.
Then the monsoons come again, the frustrations of not playing on a Saturday bite deep and you are back to square one.
Look, I have a degree of sympathy for the players, as a coach this has been the most soul-destroying winter I have ever suffered through.
The nonsense of no shutdown, of eight games in four months and 13 postponements, it gnaws away at the most positive of football people.
Yet when you DO get the chance to play as we did on Monday night on a superb surface at Scotstoun you have to make way more of it than we did.
The desire and work ethic MUST return in this weekend’s league clash with Vale of Leithen which is a dress rehearsal for the last eight game that will define the end of our season.
We were dismal in the our first visit to Innerleithen in the league and lost 3-1 but if I know some of the characters inside that BSC dressing-room as I think I do then Mark Lamb’s side will see a very different animal come the Cup tie.
Lamby is a terrific coach and has held his club together through some difficult times this season. He deserves huge credit.
For our part in football one of the truisms is that you can often look a better player in the games you DON’T play in.
If that is the case after Monday, Jamie Brophy, Steven Bronsky and Aaron Murdoch will look like Messi the next time they pull on a yellow and blue jersey!
In all seriousness, spirits had lifted again by our Wednesday night session and the next time we play competitively I believe we will see the real BSC again.
We have to. Monday was nowhere near the standards we want to set – bounce game or not.
Enjoy your football,