A Blether with Bomber
written by John Kelly, Club Reporter
The Warriors celebrated successive wins for the first time this season and moved out of the relegation play-off place. It is something Bomber Ferguson is understandably happy with but he realises there is still much to do.
“It is a nice thing to say, it was pleasing when we came off the pitch Saturday there was a feel good factor about the place and it was good to see people smiling in the stands and the players being applauded off for their efforts,” said Bomber. “That win brings about that environment, it was really nice to see that and to give the players a wee pat on the back for their efforts. But we have got to be mindful of how we came to the two wins.”
The victories over Stranraer last week and Peterhead on Saturday were the first two of Bomber's five-match tenure in charge of the team but he has been happy with performances throughout that run, even if the results did not go the Warriors way at the start. He said: “I do not think the performances have been drastically different in the five games, from Dunfermline, Airdrie, Brechin and the last two games, I do not think there has been a massive difference, there have been small changes but there is not a massive difference between being successful and non-successful and we have got to be mindful of that. We have also got to take the confidence of these two victories and use it as best we can throughout the next few games.”
Stenny travel to Ayr on Saturday, a point ahead of the Somerset Park team and the reality of the situation is it is between us and them for the unwanted ninth place. Bomber said: “Unless both of us put in an excellent run of games it is very much looking like that fight will continue. From our perspective we have given ourselves a real shot in the arm going into the game which is going to be a really really tough one, we all know that but it is a good chance to go up against our direct opponents and hopefully come away with points.”
Ayr lost to Airdrie on Tuesday and had a man straight red-carded, so they have their own problems going into Saturday but Bomber is very much focussed on keeping the Stenny improvement going and the way they tackle games.
“I think the back to back wins brings confidence but I am very much one for focussing on processes on how you win, not just winning, but the benefit of going in on back to back wins does bring confidence and it is not something we have done for a long time,” said Bomber. “So it is going to help but we need to come back to why we won the game on Saturday and why we won last Tuesday, keep focussing on these key elements and take that into the game on Saturday.
“They have got the confidence and they deserve that confidence but the focus should be on how we go about getting a result but it is nice to go into a game on the back of two wins, rather than defeats.”
A noticeable factor in the improvement has been the Stenhousemuir defence, with skipper Ross McMillan and Alan Lithgow immense as centre-halves and good displays by full backs Ross Meechan and Ciaran Summers, plus Greg Flemimg in goals.
“Defensively over the last few games we have been a lot stronger and what has pleased me has been the reaction to adversity at times during the game,” said Bomber. “On Saturday there was a period in the first half and a period in the second of what I would not call sustained pressure but there were balls flashing across the box, there were balls bouncing about the box that we dealt with and we dealt with them in a good manner and we did not let that passage of play effect us. We then bounced back again and a lot of that came from Greg and from our two centre-halves and the defence round about them and the character of them at that point helped everyone else move back up the park and move forward and these are the kind of qualities we need to take into every game but they have been outstanding for us the last couple of games.”
“I would probably say stat-wise, I have not got the percentages on Saturday's game but I would probably say they edged the percentage of the possession but I thought we looked more effective. We created a number of good opportunities, with Paul's [McMullan] pace we were able to stretch them quickly and with Colin's [McMenamin] work rate, he was outstanding again. From the midfield and the full back areas, when we did get good possession there was real purpose about how we broke forward.
“Ross and Ciaran broke well and at the right times, Josh [Watt] got into a position to score and did it with purpose and there was an incisive pass going forward with it as well. When the players do get the opportunities they are moving forward and creating opportunities and I do not expect anything too different on Saturday down at Ayr.”