This Saturday will be the third away game in 8 days for the Warriors as we make the trip to Galabank to face Annan Athletic. Tuesday night saw the end of a 7 match unbeaten run as a solidary goal for Dumbarton saw them pick up the 3 points. Naysmith’s side will be looking to bounce back from a league defeat for the first time since he and Brown Ferguson took charge of the team at the start of the year.
Annan Athletic currently sit 3rd in the league and are in a good vein of form with only 2 defeats in 2023 so far. Tommy Goss has been the key player for the Galabankies this season, scoring 20 goals in 30 games including a brace the last time the teams met in October.
The meeting earlier in the season at Galabank finished 2-1 to the hosts. Goals from Swinglehurst and Luissint saw Annan lead 2-0 before a long range effort from Matty Yates saw the game finish 2-1.
The website caught up with Gary Naysmith at training on Thursday night. It’s been a different week in terms of the schedule for the squad. How has the midweek game affected the squad?
“For the players it’s still the same Tuesday/Thursday. With having the game on Tuesday and another on Saturday, tonight at training there’s 2 or 3 different groups of lads who have played nearly all the minutes in the games against Bonnyrigg and Dumbarton. They are doing less than the lads that have played maybe only one of the games. We’ve picked up a couple of injuries as well so these lads are in getting treatment and soft tissue work with the physios and such. So the group is probably split into three for tonight (Thursday), which isn’t ideal as on a Thursday you’re wanting everyone on the pitch training but it is what it is. The biggest thing is trying to make sure we’ve got everyone fit and as fit as we can have them ready to go again on Saturday.”
Tuesday night saw the first league defeat of Naysmith’s tenure, so Saturday’s game must be about bouncing back?
“It’s going to be another tough game. We’re a bit disappointed about how we played in the first half the other night. That’s a couple of games now where we haven’t got going until the second half and that’s something we want to stop. The pleasing thing is there was a reaction at half time. If I’m being honest, I think Dumbarton could have been more than one up at half time but I think our second half performance probably deserved us getting something out of the game. It wasn’t to be.
It’s not about picking ourselves up and looking to get another run on the go. We don’t want people to get negative, the players have had a great run, 1 defeat in 8 games. We don’t want people to be doom and gloom. Nobody likes getting beat, no one is worse than me when you lose a game. It’s important to remember that we’ve done a lot of good stuff to get us back into the playoffs and it’s now about kicking on for the next 10 games.”
Match Entry: Annan Athletic have a pay at the gate policy with cash accepted at the turnstiles.
Referee: Barry Cook
Assistants: Colin McAlpine & Robert Bowie
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