Points in the bag best op­tion

Paddy prefers to have games played

Rutherglen Reformer - - Clyde - Kenny Smith

Cam­bus­lang Rangers co­man­ager Paddy Flan­nery ad­mits that it’s been a huge learn­ing curve since he and John Doyle took over at the club.

The pair were ap­pointed in the sum­mer, and quickly set about re­build­ing the Somervell Park club, who had been rel­e­gated after the fi­nal match of last sea­son.

And although they’ve got the Lang into pole po­si­tion at the top of the di­vi­sion two ta­ble, they know it’s go­ing to be a dif­fi­cult re­main­der of the sea­son, with sev­eral tough tests still to come.

Paddy said: “It’s hard, I won’t deny that - we had lots of ideas about what we wanted to do as a man­age­ment duo, and what kind of foot­ball we wanted to play, but it’s not al­ways ma­te­ri­alised in the way we hoped it would, so we’ve had to adapt, change and twist, to mix it up along the way.

“We came in with an open mind, and we al­ways knew it was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult with good times and bad times ahead, but on the whole, it’s been a very en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I’ve been able to bring in some of the things I learned as a player, and adapt it. I like the boys to be able to ex­press them­selves in a way some man­agers wouldn’t, and would re­strict them from do­ing things. That’s not what I be­lieve.

“We’ve not got it per­fect, but we’re on the right road. The league ta­ble shows that. We’ve very pleased with how we’re go­ing.”

With the ar­rival of the fes­tive sea­son, the Lang had no game at the week­end, but Paddy and co-boss John made sure the side were work­ing hard.

He said: “It’s a time when ev­ery­one tries to let their hair down a bit and of course you want ev­ery­one to en­joy this time of the year.

“My­self and John are no dif­fer­ent, and although we weren’t play­ing on Satur­day, we still had the boys in for a while, do­ing some box­ing aer­o­bics, to make sure they were work­ing hard and tick­ing over.

“We’ve stressed to the boys how im­por­tant it is to keep them­selves in de­cent con­di­tion, and in a lot of ways, it’s been a bit like a mini pre­sea­son over the last week.

“Fit­ness is so im­por­tant at this time of year when the pitches get heavy and can be a real lev­eller. We need to make sure we’re fit and as ready as we can be.

“We’re go­ing to do a wee ses­sion on Wed­nes­day morn­ing with some of the boys, just to make sure we’re in good shape for the game this Satur­day.”

This Satur­day, the Lang are sched­uled to en­ter­tained sec­ond­placed Ross­vale at Somervell Park, with the op­po­si­tion cur­rently sec­ond in the ta­ble, but they have sev­eral games in hand.

Ross­vale are the new­est team in the league, with the Bish­op­brig­gs­based side hav­ing fi­nally es­tab­lished them­selves this sea­son and are mak­ing a strong push for pro­mo­tion for the first time.

Paddy con­tin­ued: “Ev­ery year, teams will add to their squads and let oth­ers go, and Ross­vale have had a few years to build. They have their fair share of new boys, but they’ve brought in some qual­ity play­ers, like our­selves.

“They are a very good side, and have brought in a for­mer Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al­ist and Scot­tish Premier League player in Rob­bie Win­ters. To have a player of that cal­i­bre in their team is a real credit to them.

“Ross­vale are a team we’re look­ing for­ward to play­ing against, and it’s ab­so­lutely mas­sive in terms of de­cid­ing who could po­ten­tially win the league.

“The good thing is, we have the points on the board, although they have the games in hand. I know from my own play­ing days that it’s bet­ter to have the games played, than hav­ing them in hand. If another team sees that you need to win to get pro­mo­tion, that gives them a wee bit more in the tank to stop you from achiev­ing that.

“To be per­fectly hon­est, I would far rather be in our po­si­tion that Ross­vale’s, but it’s go­ing to be a very in­ter­est­ing and im­por­tant game - it’s im­per­a­tive that we train hard and main­tain our fit­ness.”

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