Edinburgh City boss: I want to see how my players respond

James McDonaugh looks for a reaction

Friday, 6th December 2019, 2:54 pm
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 2:59 pm
James McDonaugh is concentrating on his squad - not Coves

James McDonaugh insists Cove Rangers’ surprise 6-1 hammering at Annan last weekend is irrelevant in relation to Edinburgh City’s preparations for tomorrow’s top-of-the-table showdown at Ainslie Park.

The City boss is only concerned with how his own side bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at Hampden last weekend as they bid to cut Cove’s five-point advantage at the summit.

“I wasn’t particularly surprised that Annan beat Cove because they’re a good team but I was surprised by the number of goals,” said McDonaugh. “In terms of how they react, I’m more interested in what our players are going to do. A few people have got to atone for their own performance last weekend because it wasn’t good enough, and that’s what we’re looking at first and foremost. I’m more interested in how our players respond to a defeat than theirs.

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“We’re looking forward to it. It’s a big game and people have been talking about it for a couple of months now. We’ll need everyone to be at their best to get a win.”

McDonaugh is adamant this weekend’s match won’t be decisive with regard to the title race. “I’ve not seen any leagues won after 15 games but we’re trying to stay as close to Cove as we can,” he said. “We’ve got a really hard December with Annan, Elgin and Cowdenbeath to come, so we probably play all the best teams in the league this month. It’s not just about this Saturday. There’s no point beating Cove and then losing the other games so we’ve got to take as many points collectively from these games coming up. Psychologically and momentum-wise it would be good to win this one.”

City are without Callum Antell, Andrew Black and Robbie McIntrye through injury. McDonaugh insists this weekend’s match shouldn’t be viewed as a revenge mission after his team lost 5-0 at Cove on the opening day.

“I don’t think it’s about making amends for that because I feel like we’ve already done that with the character we’ve shown to bounce back,” he said. “Not many teams come back as strongly as we have from losing 5-0. A lot of teams fold and end up struggling but we’ve managed to pick up a stack of points on the back of that.

“It’s a big game but we played big first-v-second games against Peterhead last season and we didn’t lose any so we’re used to these type of fixtures. Last year we didn’t lose to Peterhead and they won the league so it’s not all about this weekend’s game, it’s about where you finish at the end of the season. Hopefully we can get the win though.”