First Team

Waddell pleased with ruthless Braves

16th December 2020

After his side's resounding 9-0 thumping of Vale of Leithen, Caledonian Braves manager Ricky said he was most pleased with the ruthlessness of the team's performance.

The Braves went in 3-0 up at half time thanks to a Ross McNeil brace either side of a Gavin Lachlan goal, before they put their foot down in the second half and added another six strikes, including four in the last 15 minutes in a flurry of activity.

The win moves the Braves up to 12th in the league and Waddell will go into Saturday's match against Civil Service Strollers looking for two good results on the bounce.

He said: "I'm obviously pleased and very happy with the performance and happy with the clean sheet. Very happy with the goals and I felt we did a professional job tonight.

"When we spoke at half time [up 3-0] my message was don't be slack, be ruthless. It was so important for us to be ruthless and take our chances and play with that tempo to give us the opportunity to go and score goals and they did that, and I was delighted with the substitutes that came on as well."

The manager was effusive in his praise for not only his starting XI but also the substitutes, who each made an impact. Corey Pearson and Dominic Slattery picked up assists, while Jamie Watson scored with one of his first touches.

Waddell said: "The guys I put on have been working really hard in training, showing a good attitude.

"I would say that Corey in particular has been unlucky. He's been champing at the bit to get in the team, he did come and speak to me about it and he spoke very well and maturely and tonight he showed what he can do.

"It was probably a good game for him to get on in, but he still had to go out and show the quality that he did."

Saturday's Scottish Cup win did wonders for the team's mood and was just reward for everyone involved keeping the faith despite tough results. But Waddell acknowledged that league form is the bread and butter, and results would have to start improving, alongside the mood in the camp.

He said: "It's a massive confidence boost and you can't expect a result like that. You can't take things for granted. It wasn't too long ago that Vale of Leithen beat us, a couple of years ago down at their place just after New Year that was. All of these types of games are dangerous, you've got to take care of them and it's about doing the right things and it's all about attitude, hunger and desire. 

"We've been struggling to get goals so that's a massive confidence boost, the way the boys passed and moved tonight gave them the opportunity to get those goals and I've seen them do that against most teams and not get those opportunities. 

"I think we're there now. Over the last three weeks I've seen a big change in the guys with more competition for places. We've got to progress and keep pushing and get ourselves up the league."

In that quest, Waddell is happy that his players seemed to have turned a corner. After overcoming injuries to key figures like McNeil and David Sinclair, he's pleased that the squad is now giving him tough decisions every week.

He said: "It's a good dilemma to have. I'm looking at players in training, I'm looking at how they react to situations and their mentality and positivity. I said to them on Saturday that I was so pleased with the contribution from everyone.

"When Ross McNeil scored on Saturday there was everybody jumping and shouting and celebrating and that's the magic potion, when everyone is fighting for each other but also fighting for their own place. Everyone will need to be called upon so they'll need to make sure they're ready."

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