'I can't be positive about that performance' - Swift rages at Warriors second half display despite opening day victory over Albion Rovers

Stenhousemuir manager Stephen Swift blasted his side’s second half performance against Albion Rovers in their League 2 opener, despite watching his side seal a 1-0 day victory over a stuffy Coatbridge outfit.

By Ben Kearney
Sunday, 31st July 2022, 12:01 am
Updated Sunday, 31st July 2022, 12:07 am
Warriors boss Stephen Swift wasn't impressed with his side's display against Albion Rovers (Photos: Scott Louden)
Warriors boss Stephen Swift wasn't impressed with his side's display against Albion Rovers (Photos: Scott Louden)

Last season’s top goalscorer Thomas Orr grabbed the all-important strike in the first half to ensure the Ochilview side would kick off the campaign with three points at home.

However, on the day it was Brian Reid’s side who had the best chances in the second half – with the Wee Rovers’ shocking finishing aiding the Warriors.

“I’ve got to take the result and the clean sheet,” Swift explained looking back on the display. “I can’t be positive about that performance especially in the second half.

“First half we caused problems with strikers going in beyond but we didn’t look sharp enough up top.

“They pulled us back three times when we had decent goal scoring opportunities.

“That was disappointing because they got two yellows and one time didn’t even get anything, which I couldn’t believe as they were all blatant.

“I have to praise Albion Rovers fighting spirit in the second half.

“They out-battled us and they were hungry for it.

“We looked nervy and we looked jaded to be honest.”

The boss was angered by his players failing to carry out the basics against the side tipped to finish bottom of the pile.

Swift added: “We didn’t defend well as a team.

“The transition wasn’t carried out correctly and we were way too open.

“Even at times people switched off.

“Our strikers also get praised all the time for dropping in to help out, that didn’t happen.

“The pitch was sticky due to the heat but that is no excuse. We’ve got to get past that.

“I told the players in the dressing room that they shouldn’t walk away from the game feeling they did enough.

“I expect an improvement against Annan Athletic on Saturday.

“They are a good side who will be right up there this season.

“In the Premier Sports Cup they topped their group for a reason.

“Losing against Stranraer would have surprised some people but not me.”

One positive was hitman Tam Orr notching his first goal of the season in the victory – but even then Swift wasn’t pleased with his attacking players output either.

“It is good for him to get off the mark,” he said.

“I expected more from him and Matty Yates on the day though.

“They are both good players and they should have been better.

“I am sure the annoyance over the performance will subside because we won.”

Meanwhile, marquee summer signing Craig Bryson managed 70 minutes on Saturday, with the ex-St Johnstone midfielder slowly re-building fitness.

He joined the Warriors in the hope that part-time football would help aid his recovery from a long-term injury.

“He was excellent in that first half,” Swift said. “I thought his knowledge and pro-activity on the ball really shone.

“Him and Nat Wedderburn really dominated in the middle of the park and the way he picked up second balls showed his class.

“Naturally he will tire earlier but we are pleased with his progress.

It is another step in the right direction.”