McDaid’s learn­ing to cut him­self some slack

The Herald - Sport - - FOOTBALL - GRAEME MCGARRY

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’

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