Ti­tle race still up for grabs

Vig­urs con­vinced no one team will dom­i­nate this sea­son

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - SPORT -

Mid­fielder Iain Vig­urs is more con­vinced now than he was in the sum­mer that Ca­ley This­tle can mount a pow­er­ful Cham­pi­onship ti­tle chal­lenge.

The Aber­do­nian has taken great heart not only from promis­ing signs in his own team’s dis­plays but from the lack of a dom­i­nant side in the di­vi­sion.

Amid early sea­son teething trou­bles, Ca­ley This­tle have se­cured just four points from the first five matches and al­ready sit eight be­hind lead­ers St Mir­ren and six adrift of the pack of three cur­rently fill­ing the pro­mo­tion play­off places.

Vig­urs, though, be­lieves there is great scope for im­prove­ment at Ca­ley This­tle while other teams seem cer­tain to reg­u­larly take points from each other.

The 29-year-old said: “Every game has been hard in the Cham­pi­onship, but I’ve also taken a lot of con­fi­dence from the fact there’s not been any team that has blown me away.

“I know when we re­ally start to gel and get the mix right be­tween de­fend­ing and at­tack­ing, we can have a right good go at it this sea­son.

“We have a lot of new play­ers com­ing to­gether, and a lot of young play­ers with­out a great deal of ex­pe­ri­ence. Once every­one is up to speed we def­i­nitely can put to­gether a strong chal­lenge and, hope­fully, a charge to­wards the ti­tle.

“In the Dun­fermline game we lost 5-1 but, for me, we were equally as bad as they were good, so much of that was down to how poor we were.

“Apart from that, there’s not re­ally been a team that has stood out.

“The set­backs have come more from our mis­takes, like we saw on Saturday against St Mir­ren. The four goals we con­ceded were all pre­ventable. It’s just about cut­ting out those mis­takes.”

Vig­urs’ promi­nence in John Robert­son’s team has grown with the de­par­ture of ex­pe­ri­enced cam­paign­ers such as Ross Draper, now at Ross County.

He ap­pears to be thriv­ing on the in­creased re­spon­si­bil­ity, scor­ing three goals from mid­field so far and im­pos­ing him­self on the ma­jor­ity of matches.

But Vig­urs stressed every game was a chal­lenge for a team in tran­si­tion.

He said: “Our aim is to pick up three points every game we play but, as we’ve seen in this league, there are no easy games.

“We don’t look be­yond the next op­po­nent we’re up against.

“We’re just look­ing to rec­tify los­ing points last week. We need to get three points, get back in the race and back up the table. Even though we did play some good stuff last week, the four goals we con­ceded were not good enough.

“In some games we’ve de­fended well, but not been as strong up top. When we’ve scored goals we’ve tended to con­cede too.

“Liv­ingston, I’m told, are a very hard team to beat, very well-drilled. “It will be a tough game. “We’ve set out how we’re go­ing to play against them and we’re ready for what’s com­ing.” Roy Hodg­son in­sists he has got over the dis­ap­point­ment of the way his reign as Eng­land man­ager ended and the hum­bling de­feat by Iceland at Euro 2016 never once led to him ques­tion­ing his abil­i­ties.

The 70-year-old will today over­see his first fix­ture as Crys­tal Palace man­ager, when they host Southamp­ton in the Pre­mier League.

Hodg­son said: “That time has gone. That chap­ter is fin­ished. I’m fo­cused on the next one and it’s all about Crys­tal Palace.”

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