Gary Jardine had some strong words for his Edinburgh City players in the wake of last weekend’s 1-0 home defeat to Montrose – and they were well-deserved, according to Chris McKee.
City turned in what their manager regarded as their poorest performance of the season just a week after claiming their first-ever SPFL point at Stirling, missing the chance to lift themselves off the foot of Ladbrokes League Two.
McKee and his team-mates were left in no doubt that that better is expected at Galabank tomorrow when they take on Annan.
“There was a few choice words said after last week but they were deserved – we were absolute torture on Saturday,” admitted McKee. “What the manager said was correct so hopefully we can use that to put it right tomorrow.”
Despite his anger, Jardine refuses to panic or even look at points totals this early in the season – sentiments echoed by his defender, who has seen positives in most performances.
“We obviously want to start putting points on the board sooner rather than later, but no-one’s panicking,” he explained. “A few of our games have been close and we’ve deserved more out of them – the Berwick and Stirling Albion games spring to mind. We should have beaten Berwick and we probably could have sneaked a win against Stirling Albion so we know we can put the performances in, it’s just about cutting out our mistakes and concentrating for the full 90 minutes. The Elgin game we deserved nothing from – they were miles ahead of us that afternoon but the other games have been close. It’s frustrating that we have been so close yet so far. We have to channel that in the right way and I’m sure once it clicks, we’ve got good enough players to pick up points, especially at home.
“It’ll need to happen at some point – we don’t have a choice. We’re not just here to make up the numbers, we want to go as far as possible rather than just stay in the league and avoid the play-offs. Hopefully, it comes sooner rather than than later. We just need to work a bit harder and listen to what Gary’s telling us.”
The message from the coaching staff has been concentrate and focus. “The mistakes we’ve made so far have come from a lack of concentration,” said McKee. “We need to be listening to the gaffer, the coaches and the experienced players – the likes of Joe [Mbu] and Beats [Craig Beattie] who have been there and done it. Concentrating and taking on board what those guys say will hopefully make a difference.”
The last time City were at Galabank they booked a South Challenge Cup final berth, beating Edusport Academy 2-0 thanks a rare double from McKee. The Capital men – boosted this week by the signing of former Manchester City midfielder Marc Laird – would welcome the same again.
“A hat-trick would be nice!” he laughed. “It was a good trip last time although it’ll be a lot tougher tomorrow. I think Annan have actually signed a couple of the Edusport players so it’ll be a tough gig. It’s an opportunity to put the Montrose game right. If I get a goal, I don’t think anyone will believe me again! But along as we pick up points I’ll be happy.
“They’ll be favourites but that’s no bother to us. Last year, we were written off by quite a few teams and put as the underdogs before. It’s nothing new and to be fair we probably should be being the new boys. We’ll go there, put in a performance and try and put last week right.”