Heron happy as Undertakers show signs of resurrection
NO.1 FOR JUNIORS
LAST weekend’s clash with Glasgow Perthshire may have ended in controversy, but Port Glasgow gaffer Brian Heron reckons he saw enough from his players to feel positive heading into tomorrow’s game with St Roch’s.
The Undertakers had come from behind to lead 2-1 at Parklea before the game was abandoned by the referee following a touchline incident in the 64th minute.
But the experienced Port boss insists he was pleased with his side’s efforts as he settles in to his second spell in charge alongside assistants Eddie Walton and Paul Coyle.
“Obviously the game came to an abrupt end on Saturday but there were definite positives to take from it,” Heron said. “We scored a couple of very good goals and played some nice football as well.
“And there’s also the fact that we had come from behind to lead 2-1, that’s a very good sign to have that ability.
“We’ve been a bit up and down so far and we’re still very much a work in progress.
“We’re [the new management team] still getting to know the players and they’re still getting to know us.
“I’m confident we’ll get it right.”
Heron stepped back into the Port hotseat after long-time manager Craig Brown stepped down due to work commitments in July, taking over a side who won a dramatic promotion to Central Division 1 last term.
A 3-2 opening day victory away at Lesmahagow was the ideal start for Heron’s men but they then went down 4-0 to league leaders Benburb on home soil.
A battling 1-1 draw at Thorniewood followed before last week’s fiery encounter put the brakes on their recovery, and Heron is under no illusions that things will get any easier at James McGrory Park tomorrow.
HE SAID: “St Roch’s are obviously a club on the up and have been very successful over the past few seasons.
“We know we’re going up against an experienced side so we’ll definitely need to be at our best to get anything at all.
“I always look forward to heading up to St Roch’s.
“We know it’s going to a difficult one for us, but aren’t they all? We wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Heron has been boosted by a double-signing in the form of the returning Ross Kearns and Jasper Donnelly ahead of the weekend tie.
And the manager admits he has walked the line between maintaining continuity from last season’s success and putting his own stamp on the squad for the new season.
He added: “We’ve not come in and made a massive clear out, it’s not like that.
“There’s a lot of good players here already and what we’re looking to do is enhance that and move forward with it.
“We want to start getting a bit of confidence in the boys and a bit more togetherness.
“I’m quite confident that will come, we’ve got some good boys on board.
“It’s always a pleasure to manage Port Glasgow. It’s my hometown club and it’s refreshing for me to get back in amongst it and be involved in Junior football again.”
WHILE it’s early days in Heron’s second Parklea tenure, he will know that getting points on the board will be essential while his team takes time to click.
That being said, the Port gaffer insists he has not been burdened with any additional expectations from the committee aside from the ongoing goal of keeping the club afloat.
He added: “We haven’t had a sitdown with the committee and set any specific targets.
“But with Port Glasgow it’s always about survival – it’s as straightforward as that.
“These guys work hard and commit themselves to keeping the club going so we don’t set any specific targets.
“It’s about survival and moving forward.” where it takes us. It’s a great start and hopefully we can take it into the next game.”
The brace capped a superb individual performance from Stones, who also excelled in his defensive duties.
The 23-year-old was often criticised in his first season at City but his display underlined Guardiola’s faith in him.
Stones put his improvement down to his continued exposure to City’s fine array of attacking players in training.
He said: “It is brilliant for my learning playing against top strikers every day. It is only helping me, working with them.
“Then obviously to play in, it’s a pleasure. Some of the boys, the skills they pull off and football they play is great to watch and great to be part of.”