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Danny Happy with Return Progress

Sun, 14th Mar 2021 7:05pm

Danny Lennon has spoken to the official website, for an update ahead of next week's planned resumption of football in the lower leagues.

The Clyde manager was speaking after four training sessions had taken place, with the 2020-21 League 1 campaign set to restart with a home match against East Fife on Saturday.

Danny started with an update on the progress made so far on the training pitch:-

"We're happy. We're trying to get the balance right between getting everything put in place and getting the players through it safely. We've got a few aches and pains - nothing major - but you still want to make every minute count, so that's been a bit frustrating. However, we know that we're going to need everyone for the matches that will come fast and furious.

"The boys have come back in great condition and in general it's about getting the feel back, both for the ball and for one another. Also with new guys coming in and giving them the chance to get to know their new group.

"Overall, we're happy with how the first four sessions have gone and we'll keep going and keep building it up.

"We now know that it's real and that we'll face East Fife on Saturday. Everyone is really keen to finish the season so we need to go on and make the most of the opportunity now."

In terms of the squad, with six new players added since January and one more loan slot available to be used, Danny gave his thoughts on how he felt the group was shaping up:-

"I feel very confident and very happy in terms of the players that have come in; there's no doubt that they are going to add to and aid the group that we already have.

"I think another addition now would need to be the right one and, with Matthew Shiels going back to Rangers, we know that we don't have an out-and-out left back. We've still got a few irons in the fire but, in terms of loans, we have one slot left available to use, so we need to be very careful in terms of the area of the squad that player would fill."

Danny also confirmed that Chris Johnston had been released from his contract on compassionate grounds, with Kristoffer Syvertsen unfortunately not expected to return to action soon:-

"This has been a challenging year for society in general and some people have been able to cope with that better than others. For Christopher, it has coincided with other things in his life, including loved ones passing away. His main focus just now needs to be his health and wellbeing.

"I'd like to place on record my thanks to Chris for his efforts, he's a lovely kid with great ability and I'm sure he'll fall back in love with the game again in the future. We've got an open door for him and our help and support will always be there, we're always on the end of a phone call.

"Kristoffer is still in Norway going through his rehab. We get a weekly update on him and it doesn't look too promising at the moment. If he gets back amongst us before the end of the season, that would be a bonus."

As discussions continue and a final decision about the format of the League 1 season still to be confirmed, Danny gave his own view on the situation:-

"I'd still rather play all 27 matches, but if we can't do that, then my preference is 22 as opposed to just 18.

"What I can't understand is that the Championship clubs will wait 12 days for a Premiership play-off, but they aren't willing to extend the dates for the Championship play-offs.

"For me, there's been a big change in recent times for League 1 and League 2 clubs and the inequality that we have in our game. It opens up unpredictability and unfairness when we are all members of the same organisations.

"The teams that could potentially be involved in the play-offs probably want every advantage they can but, for me, in terms of sporting integrity and how life is at this time, we all need to be helping each other. That's not just thinking about Clyde, it's more than anything about player welfare across all 20 clubs."

To conclude, Danny affirmed the positivity within the club about getting back to competitive action:-

"It's been a very frustrating season, but the timing is good for football coming back for the supporters and players. The boys are bursting to go and we want to finish very strongly, getting as many points as we can in the bag and seeing where it takes us."

Picture by Craig Black