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Q&A With… Chris Higgins

Grant Morton spoke to central defender Chris Higgins, following on from Tuesday’s night CIS Insurance Cup exit at the hands of Raith Rovers, to find out his thoughts on the season so far and much more…

GM: How are you and the boys feeling after the first two games of the season?
CH: Disappointed. I think on Saturday we deserved a draw. It was the same referee against Raith as it was on Saturday and he apologised to us about the disallowed goal. On

Tuesday we were simply not good enough and the boys know that, but we believe we can turn things round on Saturday and get the three points.

What do you think went wrong against Raith?
We never turned up. We were very poor on the night. I think after the first 20 minutes we began to play well but then they scored. In the second half we simply never performed. They had a very good second half and when the goal went in our heads dropped. But we had a good session on Wednesday and are determined to pick things up.

Has it been a wake up call?
Yes. It could be the kick up the behind we needed! We are disappointed though as we would have preferred to get through to the 2nd Round as it would have been good for the team and good for the club in terms of money.

How do you feel about your own personal performance over the two games?
I think I did alright, although there is room for improvement, definitely. I know I can play better and I have to work towards that. Everybody has bad games and makes mistakes from time to time but it’s how you react to those mistakes that matters.

Looking forward, does the past week make you more determined to get a result on Saturday against Hamilton?
No. We all know what we need to do, but if we had won both games at the weekend we’d still be just as determined to go out and get the three points. We want to keep improving from game to game and we cannot take our foot off the gas. The players have to go out on a Saturday, play as well as they can and then train just as hard for the next game, no matter what. What has happened doesn’t affect our determination.

Obviously there has been a lot of recent history between the two clubs. Does this make it a bigger game? Is there more to play for?
No. If we were playing any other team this weekend we would be just as determined to get the three points. You have to think of every game as a big game, training, preparing and being just as determined against every team. You have to take it one game at a time.

There has finally been some new players arrive at the club. How are they fitting in?
They are all doing really well. Marvyn Wilson is a good experienced player who knows what he’s doing on the pitch. Having experienced players on board is important. With the team being mostly younger players, having the older head has really helped. I still feel we need more players coming in though.

How has training been this week?
Good. All the lads have worked hard. We didn’t do too much on Wednesday, mostly focusing on possession. On Thursday we had a really strenuous session and worked extra hard. Everyone wants to make up for Tuesday night and if you want to play well then it’s important to train well. You must train the way you play. Training has been a lot different to how it was over the past couple of seasons. The new Fitness Coach Rab Kielty has made big impression on the team and works us hard. It’s credit to the gaffer. He has brought him in because he knows he can do a job. We are all feeling physically better. Training has been great and you learn something new every day.

How is the squad settling down?
The squad is settling down really well and all the lads are looking good.

There must now be a fair few characters in the squad?!
Stevie Masterton likes a joke and he is always slagging people! Because it’s mostly younger guys, all the boys get on well and everybody has a good laugh. There isn’t anybody who can’t take a joke here. Even the coaching staff can have a laugh!

Will the increased competition for places make everyone work a bit harder?
Yes, definitely. Competition for places is the best thing for any football club. It is good to be always looking over your shoulder as it means you have got to train hard and it keeps standards high, in training and on the pitch.

With new defenders coming in do you think your position could be at risk?
No-one takes their position for granted and I know I always have to work hard. It wouldn’t matter if there was no competition for my position or if there were seven people competing for it, I would still work as hard. It is a good thing to know you have to work hard.

What are your goals for the new season?
I want to play as much football as I can and help the club move onto the next level. For the past two seasons we have finished 5th so we really want to improve on that and we believe we can better it.

You came to Clyde from Motherwell. How does the set up of an established SPL club compare to that of Clyde?
There is more money at Motherwell, which means they have more resources, but at Clyde the set up is really impressive. The training ground at Grangemouth is really top class and we train on grass parks, which I believe is a big positive. Some clubs train on Astroturf but I don’t think it’s as good. If you are going to play on grass then train on grass. For a First Division club, the facilities here are great.

Do you have any message for the fans?
I’d like to wish them all the best and I hope they enjoy watching the team this season. I hope we can get as many fans behind us as possible and hope the boys can take Clyde onto the next step for them.