Jan 15 2013 By Colin Paterson
Airdrie manager Jimmy Boyle spoke with sports reporter Colin Paterson at New Broomfield on Monday evening.
Here is what he had to say:
CP: What are your thoughts on Airdrie's 3-1 win over Dunfermline Athletic?
JB: “It was a great victory considering the manner in which we played. I thought we were excellent. We played some fantastic stuff, scored three goals, created numerous other chances and defended really well and all the Press can talk about is how bad Dunfermline were.
“For me, I’d like to think about how good we were. Our players were fantastic and worked really hard. We passed the ball really well. The coverage of the game was disappointing for me as I thought the boys deserved more than that.
“I was really pleased for the players and also the supporters. We hadn't had a victory for a while. We’ve got close to victory a few times but never quite made it."
CP: You have taken four points from six against teams who were top of the table when you played them in the last fortnight. What does that tell you about this team?
JB: "I'll be honest with you, I genuinely don't know. We've watched games. For example, we were well up for the Partick Thistle game [1-1 draw].
"I don't think it was a case of not being up for it at Raith Rovers, we just didn't play well. I think, for us just now, the first goal is important and what was great for me on Saturday was we scored the first goal and then lost a goal which should never have stood.
"But we rolled the sleeves up, got back into the game and had a right go at them. We came out and had a right go at them in the second half and I’ve said that as long as we do that, we will give ourselves a chance.”
CP: You said last week that Ryan Donnelly's general play had not been good enough and he responds by scoring twice at the weekend. How was his overall performance?
JB: "I'm very critical of him. Myself and Alan [Lawrence] watch games all the time and we see what he does. We're critical because we believe that he is better than what he is showing.
"He's got to work hard and on Saturday it was certainly a lot better. There are always things that we can look but he is fine and he will keep speaking to us.
"His game was much better and he said, himself, that he could have had another two goals in the game.
"What pleased me most was his general attitude towards himself as he has been a bit low on confidence. But he looked a lot more like the Ryan of last season and he took his two goals really well. I was really pleased for him."
CP: Has John Boyle now been appointed vice-captain?
JB: "Yes. David Lilley is the club captain and John is now the vice-captain.
"John has been one of our better players this season. I don't really like making strikers captains but he leads from the front and his attitude has been great.
"He's great with the boys and works really hard."
CP: Ricki Lamie finished the game on Saturday as captain. Can you tell us about his development as a player and individual since the start of the season?
JB: "For me, it goes further back than that to the play-off final matches at the end of last season. He will tell you himself, he made a few mistakes that cost us a couple of goals.
"We had a good chat with him over the summer, told him we still believed in him, but he'd lost some confidence. We had him in pre-season and got him on loan to Bathgate Thistle.
"I think getting him away from here for a wee while certainly helped. He came back knowing that we wanted him and he also got the chance to play games at Clyde on loan.
"He's come into the team and kept his game so simple. He's won his headers and been really strong.
"He's always had a good attitude, that's one thing I will say about him. Now you can see that he has a load of confidence, he wants to do well and he listens. I'm really pleased for him as he is a good boy."
CP: Chris O'Neil is a 17-year-old who is starting every week for you. Tell us about how you came across him?
JB: "We had trials with the under-19s just after last season had finished. We were sitting watching him and straight away you could see that he could play.
"I said to the coach, Stevie [Findlay], after ten minutes of the game that we wanted to sign him and another lad, Cieran McGuinness, and that we should probably take them off.
"The problem we had was Chris was going to the SPL exit trials a couple of days later. Stevie said he did very well there but because we wanted to sign him, the boy was delighted to come to us.
"I know there were teams that approached him but because we wanted to have him here, he was keen to come.
"Stevie has done a fantastic job. He's brought some good players through like Jamie Barclay and Chris and I'm sure there will be others as well."
CP: Had there not been a Reserve League in the first half of the season, would players like O'Neil, Barclay and Liam Watt advanced as quickly to the first team?
JB: "We would have had games but having the competitive games has been really good. We played a lot of games against Junior teams last season.
"But having games against professional clubs has been excellent. We will go into the Reserve League Cup and enter the league again next season. That's how much we think of it.
"It's been great for the players and it's been great for us to see them progress. We had big Grant Drummond on the bench on Saturday, he's only 17. He's a centre-back and is working really hard and has played in the reserves."
CP: Any early team news ahead of this weekend's game with Dumbarton?
JB: "We're hopeful of getting some more of our injured players back and that will certainly strengthen the bench."
CP: What is the status of Josh Watt?
JB: "He has gone back to Motherwell. He has had a groin injury for a few weeks. He started off fine but then he had a wee dip.
"He's only a young boy and we thanked him for everything he did. We've spoken to Motherwell and asked to be kept informed of what might happen at the end of the season."
CP: And Grant Adam has returned to St Mirren.
JB: "Yes he has. It was a tough time for him here but he always came in and worked hard. He has been great about the place and was excellent on Saturday.
"You can see why St Mirren took him in the summer. We tried to get him back then but he wanted full-time. We'll see what happens."
CP: It's Dumbarton this weekend. There was no expectation on Airdrie at Dunfermline but there will be expectation this weekend.
JB: "Yes, on both teams. They have been beaten Partick Thistle, Morton and Falkirk so they are on a good run.
"We have beaten them twice before so there is expectation but it's a game we will hopefully go out and enjoy.
"If we play anywhere near as well as we did on Saturday, getting the ball down and passing it and being positive, we will give ourselves a good chance.
"I know Dumbarton have made some changes, won some games and are looking stronger but we don't fear anybody in this league.
"We instill into the players that on any given day, we can beat anybody. We have a lot of hungry, young boys here and hopefully that hunger will take us into next game."