The King Returns

Chris Maguire is set to return to the team today against Doncaster and claims he’s fit and raring to go. “I’ve had a bit of time out of the team which for any footballer is never enjoyable,” he said. “You want to be playing and having your say. I’ve always backed myself to go out there and prove to people that now’s my chance. The injury was tough to deal with, but the recovery process has been a bit different. It’s felt quick at times and slow at other times, but if I’m honest I’m just glad to be back on the grass and kicking a ball again. It’s a tough run-in and that’s now even harder because of the last two results. We’re disappointed with how they’ve panned out because we’d like to have a bit of a bonus on other teams. That isn’t the case, although, we do have a game in hand over Barnsley. At the end of the day, it is in our hands. We know if we win all five games, we know what the outcome is going to be. It is a five-game season. We have to take one game at a time. We have got the players, the belief in the changing room and the support that can back us and push us on. I thought on Saturday watching the game the support was brilliant. They made a real noise, but that needs to continue against Doncaster Rovers.”

In other news, Jack Ross reckons that he’s happy to ignore Stewart Donald’s instructions of not selecting players who have not signed their contracts, such as Denver Hume. “In terms of Stewart having any influence over my team selections, that simply isn’t the case. As an owner, Stewart would be the last person you’d expect to do that, and I’m probably the last type of manager that would accept that either. It just isn’t me. I’m not saying that in a bullish way, I just wouldn’t do the job if someone was trying to interfere. What I think he was trying to say is that if we’re investing in players, then you obviously want to see the benefit of that investment. Josh’s situation has made Stewart look into how we can try to prevent that kind of thing happening again. As a football club, we’re no different to any other business in a different sphere. If you’re investing in someone, you hope that how they then blossom and mature is of benefit to you. I know we work in a different business in some ways, but really it’s no different to a business having an apprentice. If you invest in their development, you then hope they commit themselves to you. That’s what I think he was trying to say rather than how it’s been interpreted. It’s easy for me to say it, but it’s simply not the case that he would try to have any influence over my team selections.”

The manager also gave an update on Hume’s contract situation: “We’ve been working really hard with that, and I’ve been pushing long and hard to get this done,” he added. “He’s one I think will get even better for us. Already, what he’s done this season has been a great step forward for him, and I would love him to be here, irrespective of what league we’re in, because I think he would be an asset to us. I don’t mean an asset just from a financial point of view, I mean he would be an asset to me as a manager because I think he’s a good player and it would be nice to see him progress to a point where he becomes a fixture in your team. If you’re a young player and think, ‘What’s the best chance for me to get into a first team’, then you’d argue a club at a lower level might give you more opportunity than if you were to move to the Premier League.”