Record-breaker Dougie Gair may have seen plenty of ups and downs during his 15 years at Meadowbank, but that doesn’t make City’s winless run in League Two any easier to bear.
The skipper, who turned 31 this week, was officially confirmed as the club’s all-time record appearance holder with 406, having overtaken current goalkeeping coach Alan Mackintosh. Gair is also the club’s leading goal-scorer with 108, surpassing previous record holder Robbie Ross. The milestones were announced after gaps in City’s official records were filled in from previous years, and least one of those totals is likely to increase after Clyde visit tomorrow.
The record books for 2016/17 still show no wins so far this season, and despite having ensured poor runs of form at a lower level during his time in black and white, Gair insists that previous seasons don’t put the current struggles in to perspective. “We want to win games,” he stated. “We’ve gone up to a new level with a new challenge and we wanted to do well. To some extent we have done well, but it’s a results-based game. It’s not easy losing or even drawing games and being where we are, we need to pick up wins sooner rather than later.
“Confidence-wise we haven’t really taken a hit. Boys are still turning up to training full of life and I think, at the moment, it’s still there. Obviously over time and – heaven forbid – it does continue, naturally it’ll start to go but I think the fact that we’ve been playing well and creating chances means the boys are confident, it’s just the mistakes since the start of the season that we need to rectify.”
Last week’s home loss to Elgin resulted in manager Gary Jardine keeping his players back for more than an hour after the full-time whistle. They didn’t get the hairdryer treatment however, but a chance to voice their own views. “He let us do a lot of the talking,” Gair revealed. “A few boys stepped up and raised a few issues and just went through what they thought was wrong. It was quite beneficial and again we spoke about it at training on Tuesday. There were times when voices were raised but for most of it he gave us the floor and it was constructive more than anything else. It’s just trying to iron out what we’re feeling. He obviously has his own feelings on how it’s going but he just wanted to know what we thought and if we were still on the same page.
“We absolutely were on the same page. We’ve been there long enough and we know Gary, we trust Gary and we trust all the management team. We’re all on the same wavelength and pulling in the same direction and all want to get to the same place.
“As captain, all I’m trying to do is keep that confidence up. I’m not a captain that goes and shouts and motivates in that way. I’m more of a captain that goes around and speaks to players quietly. I do that on the pitch as well, running by and have a wee quick word. in the ear, telling them to keep going or whatever. I’m not doing anything differently.”
While recent weeks haven’t been the most enjoyable, Gair admitted it was a nice touch for the club to officially acknowledge his longevity and loyalty over the years. “I was fairly confident I had the appearance record anyway!” he laughed. “It’s nice that the club have gone back through it all. It’s a proud moment.”
It’s rare nowadays to see such numbers racked up for a single club at any level of football. Players seem to stick around at City however, with some of Gair’s current team-mates approaching the upper echelons of appearance stats. “If you look at Ian McFarland, he’s only a couple behind [Jordan] Caddow and he’s got City in his blood as well I think. There’ll be a few of them that will probably clock up more than me from now on, but it is quite unusual. I’m a one-club man!”