Our Martin McConnell caught up with first team coach Guillaume Beuzelin and defender Sam Woods when they spoke with the media after Sunday’s game…
Guillaume, what did you think of that today?
“It was a mix of emotions in the dressing room. On the negative side we have zero points again. But on the positive side we competed for the majority of the game with Celtic, 75 minutes with the side at the top of the league. One nil up as well and obviously the sending off which cost us right away and was a bitter blow for us. Having said that the boys still managed to produce a good performance, especially defensively, but it wasn’t good enough towards the end. The fatigue was there and they switched off due to lack of concentration. With a team finishing like that at 2-1 it was difficult to come back from that and at 3-1 and 4-1, that’s what they do all the time. It’s hard to take but there’s positives to take from it overall.”
Was there frustration in the fact that you did so well then let it slip towards the end?
“Yes, for the boys and the way they kept on defending despite their tiredness I thought. But unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get the points today.”
That’s you bottom of the league now but if you keep fighting like you did today, do you back the team to stay up?
“I think it always easy to be motivated when the Old Firm come here. To succeed we need this kind of motivation every game. If we have that then we’ll be fine. We’ve been in this position before and I’ve been here for the last five years. We know what to do to survive and stay in this league. In three days time we have another massive game.”
Should Leigh Griffiths have been sent off in the first half?
“Yes, when I saw it live that’s what I thought. The whole bench saw it and we were twenty metres away from it. From that angle maybe the referee couldn’t see it but he has a fourth official and an assistant maybe. If that had been the case then it might have turned the tables massively for us and it might have been a different outcome. So it was frustrating from that point of view but I don’t want to comment too much on that. We already have someone banned, I don’t want to be banned.”
What did you make of the Jamie Hamilton sending off?
“Yes, it’s a bit soft but Jamie needs to learn as well. He’s a big prospect for us and is a great player at 17 against an experienced Leigh Griffiths who has turned him. He just needs to not let him get so close. We were very disappointed with the free kick as it was a massive change of momentum.”
Do you think today will be a big lesson for Jamie then?
“Yes it has happened before in a game against Hearts and Ikpeazu. He’s a big clever player and he needs to stay tight and give himself a half yard and not allow himself to be turned like that.”
Do you think Marios Ogkmpoe can be a talisman for you after a performance like that?
“Yes but Marios needs to be consistent. We know that on the day he can be very effective and he gave the Celtic defence a torrid time today. I thought he scored a great goal, we know he’s capable of that but he needs to do that on a more regular basis.”
How fit is David Templeton as he was on the bench today? Has he had time to get fully fit?
“I think he has trained for the last couple of days. He’s been good. I was lucky to have worked with him before and I think his fitness levels are better than before. So it’s all positive as we know that he can give us a spark whether coming off the bench or from the start. He will be an important player for the rest of the season.”
It must be a tough result to take after defending so well for so long?
“Yes, definitely. I mean, everybody would be proud of that performance up to the 75th, 80th minute. And then once they get their goal, everyone’s head drops and they carry on. But no, it was a great defensive performance, bodies on the line and we need to take the positives in to Wednesday.”
That type of defending must give you confidence that if you continue to play like that, then you’ll be able to pick up more points this season?
“Yes, definitely. That’s what I’ve said, we’ll take the positives from it, recover and then prepare for Wednesday’s match.”
How is Jamie feeling in the dressing room?
“Yes, he’s obviously disappointed. He’s a young lad and I tell him that he’ll learn from it. Those things happen and you really do learn from your mistakes. I’m sure that he’ll become a better player from today’s experience.”
Do you think that it was quite soft? Then you get the double punishment of a man sent off then the goal.
“Yes, once you go down to ten it’s harder against eleven. The boys dug deep and we can be proud of the performance.”
Are games like today one of the reasons that you’ve come up to play in Scotland?
“Yes definitely, you can’t get those type of games in the English leagues. Yes, that’s exactly what I came up for and I learnt a lot from it that’s for sure.”
Can you talk to us about the Leigh Griffiths incident? What’s your take on it?
“I just respect the referees decision and yes, that’s all really.”
Was it a physical battle out there?
“Yes it was very physical. Obviously they’re going to have lots of the ball, so you’ve got to be mentally strong.”
What positives can you take from today into Wednesday’s match against St. Mirren?
“The fight, the spirit and I’m sure if we can take that in to Wednesdays game then that should keep us in good stead for it.”