Nov 9 2011 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
JIMMY BOYLE didn’t take long to emerge from the tiny away dressing room at Cliftonhill following his side’s train wreck of a performance.
After all, what more could be said to a group of players who had disgraced the club and subjected their fans to total humiliation?
Losing 7-2 to any team is unacceptable in the eyes of Airdrie supporters, so for this defeat to take place along the A89 – at the home of local rivals Albion Rovers – prompted a level of vitriol not seen for quite some time.
In the firing line of the furious fans who watched in horror as their team was ruthlessly dismantled by a side far hungrier than their own was Boyle, a manager now under intense pressure.
“It was embarrassing to say the least and one of the worst defeats I’ve ever been involved in,” he said.
“I’ll take that on the chin. I’m the manager and I picked the team. But as a team performance, it was really embarrassing.
“I was embarrassed [watching from the sidelines], although I always feel we can get back into things. Even at 5-2, I believed we could get something if we nicked another goal.
“But we were absolutely horrendous, defensively.”
The failings of players who are woefully under-performing in the Diamond were assessed by Boyle, with his pre-match instructions falling on deaf ears.
“We gave the ball away poorly and they went up the park and scored at will,” rued the manager. “They could have scored even more.
“I told the players it would be a tough game, that we would have to keep the ball, match them man for man and not to give away any free headers in the box. All you can do is tell people.
“Today, we had people not taking responsibility in certain situations. When you have a man to mark, you pick him up. End of story.
“I think the main problems were down to some individuals making bad decisions and not doing their jobs properly.”
While Boyle was hugely let down by his players at the weekend, he must also shoulder his share of the blame as Airdrie conceded seven goals in a game for the first time in more than 11 years.
He will, rightly, be given time to turn things around at New Broomfield but he knows he’ll be working underneath the glare of a harsh spotlight over the coming weeks.
“The fans were unhappy – and of course they would be,” acknowledged Boyle. “We’re Airdrie and we’ve just been beaten 7-2 by our local rivals.
“These supporters have paid their money, they want to voice their opinion and I understand that.
“I have spoken to the chairman [Jim Ballantyne] and we’ve had a chat about things. The message to the players is that it isn’t good enough.”
Boyle certainly won’t be quitting any time soon. His contract runs to the end of the season and it isn’t in his DNA to walk away from a challenge. He will re-double his efforts and is prepared to wield his own axe in a bid to turn around Airdrie’s season.
“We will just need to get back to the drawing board,” he said. “We have a lot of young boys coming through and, if I’ve got to go with them, I’ll do that.
“You look at some of our results and performances. If I’ve boys who are working hard, then they’ll get their shot. The ones in the first team right now have lost 3-1 and 7-2 in succession. If there needs to be changes, I’ll make those changes.
“I am even more determined to carry on. We know where we want to go. We need to get ourselves together and I fully believe we can do that.”