McGee ex­pects real chal­lenge in Perthshire

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - SPORT -

Caith­ness head coach Tom McGee feels his side have shown they have the men­tal­ity to thrive in Na­tional 3 ahead of to­mor­row’s trip to Perthshire.

Af­ter win­ning just one of their open­ing five games fol­low­ing pro­mo­tion from Cale­do­nia 1, the Greens have surged to fifth place thanks to a run of four vic­to­ries from five matches.

The Thurso out­fit re­turned to win­ning ways with a 24-8 tri­umph over West of Scot­land last week­end, fol­low­ing a 29-8 loss to Gor­do­nians the pre­vi­ous week­end, and McGee feels his side has dis­played its re­silience.

McGee said: “Mo­men­tum is a funny thing in sport. You could say we lost mo­men­tum against Gor­do­nians, sim­ply be­cause we didn’t re­ally back our­selves.

“I’m de­lighted with the way the play­ers re­sponded af­ter the frus­tra­tions of a below-par per­for­mance though.

“It’s all in the psy­chol­ogy of sport. We’ve got some re­ally good things go­ing, with a lot of strong parts of our play.

“When we do all those things well we are a good side.

“I said to the play­ers dur­ing the train­ing week that you don’t de­velop men­tal tough­ness or a win­ning men­tal­ity over the course of a week or a month.

“You need to go through the good ex­pe­ri­ences and the bad ex­pe­ri­ences in or­der to learn, and it was a re­ally strong re­sponse from the play­ers to close out a good West of Scot­land side.”

McGee ex­pects to be without eight play­ers for the trip to ninth-placed Perthshire, with Grant An­der­son, Kris Hamil­ton, Gra­ham Fryer and Dougie Web­ster among those miss­ing out.

McGee added: “This week is go­ing to be a real chal­lenge. We are a num­ber of play­ers down in key po­si­tions, so we are go­ing to have to box smart a lit­tle bit in how we play.

“It’s go­ing to test our men­tal­ity.

“We are un­der no il­lu­sions. The Perthshire team will be des­per­ate in their own right. It’s go­ing to be very tough but we need to try to find a way to win this week­end.”

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