McDaid’s learning to cut himself some slack
SELF-DOUBT is never a productive quality for an attacking player to possess. For Declan McDaid, Partick Thistle’s precocious winger, it had ravaged his mind to such an extent that it stalled a burgeoning Firhill career that looked set to result in him becoming a mainstay of Alan Archibald’s starting eleven.
After months of displaying sub-par form, by his own admission, the talented youngster says that he is close to recapturing the form that led to his breakthrough last season now that he has learned to believe in himself.
“I’m my own biggest critic,” he said, “And I know that perhaps a couple of months ago I wasn’t playing at my best, but I’ve come back, worked hard, and it’s coming back to me.
“It’s especially difficult for me because I beat myself up a lot. There are other players who are more confident and they are OK when they don’t play so well and it just comes back to them, but me, I beat myself up and it makes the bad spell go on for a bit longer.
“I’ve managed to put a stop to that and hopefully that’s me back on track.
“It’s something I’m working on and I’ve definitely improved from that point of view, but sometimes my head will still go down, so I just need to work on picking it back up myself.
“Before I wasn’t really going through the best run of form, but in the last couple of weeks I’m feeling more like myself, so it’s just a case of biding my time.
“I’ve been playing better in training and in the under-20s games, so I’ve just got to be patient and make the most of any chance I get in the team.
“The gaffer has spoken to me and he just told me to keep my head up, that I was doing well and that I should keep working hard and fight for my place in the team, so that’s what I’m doing.”
McDaid admits it is frustrating for him to be out of the starting eleven, especially after picking up the club player of the month award back in February.
He said: “That’s the thing, obviously last year was a massive year for me breaking through and playing a few games and doing well, and it’s hard to take not being involved as much this year.”
McDAID: ‘It’s just a case of biding my time’