Nov 15 2012 By Colin Paterson
Jimmy Boyle admits he gambled on the fitness of Cameron MacDonald and Sean Lynch in Airdrie’s defeat at home to Livingston.
The pair had been out of action for five weeks with hamstring and calf injuries, respectively, and had just one full training session before Friday night’s First Division fixture.
But MacDonald was back on the sidelines before the interval while Lynch struggled on until the end of Airdrie’s disappointing 3-1 defeat.
When asked about the duo’s fitness status, boss Boyle said he was not made aware of any potential problems by either player or the club physio.
But the manager has since been informed that Lynch had complained of tightness after training last week – a message, Boyle says, that wasn’t relayed to him.
In the immediate aftermath of the Lions defeat, Boyle said both players had told him they were fit but that "they didn't look fit".
However, he appeared to backtrack slightly when discussing the issue again on Monday evening and put what he said after the game to speaking in the heat of the moment.
The messy situation appears to reveal a major communication breakdown between the management team, treatment room and dressing-room.
“It was a slight gamble,” Boyle replied when asked if Airdrie had taken a chance with MacDonald and Lynch. “It wasn’t a big gamble.
“They had done a lot of work in the gym and a lot of running. We trained on Tuesday and they both did a full session with the squad.
“As far as I was led to believe, they were fine as I never had any communication [saying otherwise]. It’s came to light that Sean made communication with the physio, saying that he was a bit tight but he felt fine.
“But going into the game, I’ve not heard anything from the players that there is an issue.
“I knew Cammy might not get through the whole game but we wanted his strength in there and to get a good hour out of him. I was very disappointed when he came off with a tight hamstring.
"The reason I was disappointed, and I said what I said, was through frustration and anger."
In terms of Airdrie's playing style, Boyle insists he wants his side to pass the ball out from defence - and recognise the importance of retaining possession.
He added: "We work on passing the ball all the time in training. But when it comes to games, we just seem to freeze.
"I encourage the players every week to take the ball from the back and play through the middle of the park.
"We are probably the worst team in the league in terms of keeping possession.
"We will only get out of the position we're in by being strong, taking the ball and keeping it.
"I know the supporters are frustrated. They must be as frustrated as me.
"It's up to me to try and sort it but the players have got to take responsibility as well."
Meanwhile, the manager says he is looking to strengthen his squad with former Partick Thistle striker Liam Buchanan a target. Boyle would also like to extend Motherwell winger Josh Watt's period on loan at New Broomfield.
*In the SFL National Reserve League on Monday night, Airdrie came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Queen of the South.
Dan Orsi and David Hopkirk put the visitors ahead but they were pegged back on each occasion by Jack Boyle and Liam Watt.