Watt’s Thoughts

Following John McCormack’s departure yesterday, Neil Watt spoke to www.clydefc.co.uk to answer some questions ahead of the Alloa Athletic match.

Clyde’s Director of Football will be taking charge of the team temporarily until the end of the season.

Q: Some people may have been surprised by the timing of the move. What were the club’s thoughts on it?
NW: We had a very amicable discussion and parting with John on Monday morning. It was not a decision we took lightly. The club has to accept and openly say that we’re going to be in the Third Division next season. On that basis, I believe we should be building for it as soon as we can. Since I arrived at the club, a lot of people have moved on and there’s more of a blank canvas now. I’ve got a firm plan in mind as to how the club could operate next season and I wouldn’t have made the suggestions to the Board I did without that.

Given the acceptance that our league position won’t improve, what can the fans expect from the remaining fixtures?
I can accept that some supporters will not necessarily want to attend the games, I can understand that. For those that do, they will see a team playing under absolutely no pressure and it would be nice if the players could express themselves a bit more. I’ve had a chat with the squad and all we’ve asked for is some honest endeavour, for the club, the supporters and for themselves as professionals. We won’t ask them for any more and, equally, I don’t expect to be able to change their levels overnight. Maybe the fans that come along can just enjoy a game of football without having to get too worked up and also to see what players may be around next season.

Will you use the games to try out some different players?
League rules don’t allow trialists or new loan deals after 31st March so we will go with what we have. I’m keen, however, to give a couple more of our youth players a chance in the first team and that may be of interest to supporters. They’ll perhaps be a bit on the young side but it will not do them any harm to sample a senior match. Our under-19 coach, Gordon Wylde, will be joining me in the dugout for the seven matches which will help the youngsters that do come in.

Can you confirm the situation with David Farrell?
David has also left the club. We wish him well and thank him for his efforts.

Would you like to highlight any of your thoughts for next season at the moment?
We’re in the final stages of building a detailed plan, which includes the football management structure, and we will keep supporters updated when anything is confirmed. I’d like to think this will be in place by the end of the season.

Anything else you would like to add?
It has been a frustrating season for Clyde fans. The dye was cast last summer when the club got a reality check on a number of fronts. Understandably, the stadium Landlord exercised their right and the threat of administration was very real, a whole squad of players was released and the club scraped through to start the season with the lowest budget not only in the Second Division but in all Scottish football. All that having been said, the club has made strides forward to arrest the spiraling debt and, with severe cost cutting measures put in place, look to be on track to reverse that situation. In a pre-season statement in July last year, the club gave a stark warning of two years of real hardship and it should be remembered that this situation still prevails. For the next few weeks however, forget the doom and gloom and come and give the team your backing, particularly our younger players… they have to be the future of the club.

With the prudent steps that have been taken I am hopeful that the club can now start to take small steps forward to sustainability for the future but there will still be difficult times ahead. Following a football team is about taking the good with the bad… hopefully fans can stick with it and work together to help get the club back up on its feet.