Good Ayr day can boost season for Caley Thistle, says defender Brad Mckay
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BRAD Mckay is determined to use Caley Thistle’s overnight trip to Ayr as a team-bonding exercise for a squad starved of morale-boosting off-field activities.
Rendered impossible during the pandemic, the experienced defender knows how important Caley Thistle’s traditionally close-knit dressing room has been in forging past success.
Geographically distant from the central belt and often removed from family, players have tended to build strong friendships through a natural tendency to socialise together.
In this season like no other, that element has been lacking – and Mckay reckons the team’s first hotel stay this season, on Scotland’s south-west coast, could be just the tonic.
“The journey to Ayr, in itself, is not much fun, but we will be staying over at a hotel and it is a chance for the lads to bond a wee bit,” Mckay stressed. “The boys get a chance to relax with each other and get dinner together and that’s probably a welcome bit of normality, albeit without any beers!
“The manager has mentioned that normally, at a time when things aren’t going so well for the team, he would get us together to do something. We haven’t had that time together with the new players at all, and we haven’t even shared a dressing room as a squad.”
Mckay, like his manager, craves momentum at a crucial time in the season. He felt it was healthy that the players channelled frustration directly at each other immediately after Wednesday night’s defeat.
“Another three points slipped away from us. We keep coming off games thinking our keeper has had nothing to do, but we’ve ended up getting beat. I don’t know how we are going to solve it, but we need to rally together. There were some strong words in there and the manager just let the players have it out. Hopefully that can work for us.”