Dan Gorman caught up with Conor Clifford to reflect on last night’s game against Athlone Town and the season so far.
This is not Conor Clifford’s first rodeo. The ex-Chelsea, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Notts County, Southend United, Dundalk, St. Patrick’s Athletic and Derry City midfielder has seen plenty in his career. And he has seen enough in this Bray Wanderers squad to know that the tide will turn once the goals start raining in.
Three points from four matches is certainly not the start the 29 year old was expecting to his Bray Wanderers career. Clifford returned to action last night in the defeat to Athlone Town having sat out the UCD stalemate with an ankle injury but Clifford is confident that a fit striker will spark a revival at the Carlisle Grounds.
‘We could definitely have had a point or three (last night)’, Clifford reflected. ‘We gave away two really bad goals. Dylan’s goal was an unbelievable finish and I felt like we were very comfortable in the second half; they’d a few little breakaways but we dominated all the play from maybe 50/55 minutes. We had all the play in their half. Three or four balls flew across the 18-yard box but we just lacked someone to put the ball in the net. We’ve a few injuries up top and we’re missing Shawsy; he’s a good presence. Brando is playing up there but it’s not really his position although he is doing a good job.
‘We’re just missing that presence up there and having someone to put the ball in the back of the net. We’ve had loads of play; from the back to the middle it is reasonably good and on the wings – I thought Stevie (Kinsella) was excellent, he caused them all sorts (of problems) – but the only thing we’re missing is the hardest part of the game and that’s putting the ball in the back of the net. We’ll keep working on it. It’s disappointing.’
The lack of a victory as of yet is not weighing on Clifford’s mind. He feels he and the team are doing everything right and the rewards will eventually come.
‘They took their goals well but it was bad defending. We need to look back at it – we all do – but we were comfortable last night and they blew up really in the second half. We’d all the ball but we were just missing that final bit of putting the ball in the back of the net.
It’s still early days. Obviously we’re really disappointed that we haven’t picked up the points that we wanted to but what Gary (Cronin) is doing on the training pitches and the way he wants us playing is working. We’re playing good football, we’re just lacking that final inch but it will come; it will definitely come.’
Cobh Ramblers got their first victory of the campaign last night so will have their tails up when the Seagulls roll into town next week. Bray tasted victory at St. Colman’s Park last time out so Clifford will be hoping they can repeat the feat in this topsy turvy division.
‘It’s going to be an up-and-down league. It’s going to be a mad league. There’s some good teams in it. It’s only a couple of games in though so we’ll get back out on the training pitch and we’ll work on putting that ball in the back of the net and hopefully we’ll start flying up the table.’