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