Time’s run­ning out but Cronin hasn’t given up hope

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

GARY Cronin doesn’t like it when things are out of his con­trol.

The amount of chances missed by his at­tack­ers is out of his con­trol and, con­se­quently, his side’s chances of land­ing a play-off spot are now out of his con­trol.

The Bray Wan­der­ers boss has watched on ag­o­niz­ingly as his side have left umpteen points be­hind them due to a pro­found in­abil­ity to fin­ish off op­por­tu­ni­ties and it has left them five points adrift of fourth with seven matches re­main­ing.

The Seag­ulls’ next four out­ings are against the four sides be­low them, be­fore con­clud­ing their sea­son against the cur­rent top three so Cronin knows 12 points from the next four games are a ne­ces­sity.

‘There isn’t an al­ter­na­tive. We have to be there if some­body falls over. Cabin­teely oc­cupy the fourth spot and Lim­er­ick are still ahead of us by a point.

‘We’re five off Cabin­teely now and they’re a whisker away from los­ing (and they get the draw) on Fri­day but that’s the game.

‘At least we’ve made some ground up but there’s no point in pick­ing up max­i­mum points on Fri­day and then los­ing be­cause then you’ll lose ground again and at this stage, the games are run­ning out. We have to be there if some­body falls over. We can’t blame any­body else if we don’t win our own games and at this stage, I’m dis­ap­pointed to say, we’re re­ly­ing on other teams to drop points. Hope­fully our for­tunes will change and change in front of goal be­cause I think we de­serve a lot more goals than we have.”

The main source of frus­tra­tion for Cronin is the knowl­edge that far from not be­ing good enough, Bray simply haven’t been pro­lific enough and it looks set to cost them dearly.

“We had our chances. What’s not good enough is that we’ve had nine de­feats. I know from win­ning the league as a player and as a coach that if you don’t win then (the at­ti­tude is) you don’t get beaten.

‘You can pick up your six or seven draws in­stead of six or seven de­feats. I’ve no prob­lem in say­ing this; in at least six of those de­feats we should have won by at least two goals but if you don’t put it in the back of the net then you can’t com­plain.

‘That’s our own do­ing and now we’re play­ing catch-up but you’ll fin­ish where you de­serve to fin­ish af­ter the final game of the sea­son. If one of the teams above us slip up, then we have to be there.”

How does Cronin reflect on his (al­most) first full year in man­age­ment?

“There’s a lot to learn but this di­vi­sion is a dif­fi­cult di­vi­sion. In the Premier, it can be a lot more tac­ti­cal and you try and im­ple­ment a cer­tain way of play­ing in this league and you don’t al­ways get your re­wards for it.

‘You can come up against solid teams that are hard to break down and are phys­i­cal. When I look at where we’re falling short; it’s ob­vi­ously in front of goal. So what I’ve learned is why strik­ers get paid the most money!

‘There’s loads of things but we have to put things into per­spec­tive; a year ago the club was about to go bust.

“I think the fans can see what we’re trying to do and they ap­pre­ci­ate what way we’re trying to play and it doesn’t al­ways work out that way but the plans are there to try and do things the right way. It won’t al­ways go to plan and that’s one thing I have learned but I’ll learn more be­tween now and the end of the sea­son and we haven’t given up hope yet.’

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