Michael Hart interview

4th November 2012

A GREAT WIN LAST WEEK!
Great win for the boys; thoroughly deserved it I thought in the end. First half I thought we struggled to play the way we can play but at the end of the day - when you’re in the position we’re in - it’s about results and the boys did great.

WHY DID YOU MISS THE GAME?
I’ve no idea. The manager just decided to change things up and he left me out. You’d need to ask him that!

I WASN'T SURE IF IT WAS AN INJURY, BECAUSE YOU'VE HAD A FEW BAD INJURIES THROUGH YOUR CAREER... 
Touch wood since I’ve come to Airdrie I’ve made sure I’ve trained every week. With full-time football you struggle a bit more because you’re training every day but at least when you’re part-time you’ve got that extra day to recover if you are struggling so I’ve found it a little bit easier. 

WAS IT AN EASY DECISION GOING PART-TIME THEN?
At the end of last season I’d just had enough and I had been struggling in everyday training, which I put down to getting a few bad injuries. My injuries were more muscle injuries that I had snapped or pulled, so I think what I’ve done is overdid it.  I think the fact that I’ve calmed the training down now has helped my body.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO AIRDRIE?
Definitely Jimmy Boyle. He has this way of just demanding the best from players. It might sound a bit cliche, given our results, but he just lets you play and he wants you to play football. When we train we do as if we’re playing football. 

I know we haven’t been playing well but we did really well at the start of the season against good football teams and we weathered the storm. I don’t think we’ve shown what we can do because we’ve got decent young boys and a decent squad of players but unfortunately performances have let us down at times this season.

NOW WE'VE PLAYED EVERY TEAM, HAVE YOU GOT A BETTER IDEA OF WHAT TO EXPECT?
It’s not the other teams in the league we need to watch out for, every team in the league is a good team. We sort of get beat by ourselves; quite a lot of the time we’ve not turned up. You can get away with one or two having an off day, maybe three. But there’s been games in the last five weeks when even seven or eight guys haven’t turned up or having an off day so I think as long as we take care of ourselves we’ll be fine but I don’t think there’s too many teams in the league we overly need to worry about.

DO YOU GET SOME OF THE YOUNGERS GUYS ASKING FOR ADVICE?
I think they all look for advice and help in different ways and different forms. They look up to some of the more experienced players and obviously listen. They’re always looking to learn about the game from myself, Lils and Kenny and the one thing Airdrie have got is a good approach. They always give 100% and I admire the fact if they ask for an opinion they’ll get an honest answer. As much as I’ve not played as well as I can I think the fact that they can see I’ve played at a higher level and I always give 100% in everything I do and give an honest answer on where I think they need to be or where I think they can improve. 

Jamie Bain’s a great one for listening. I think he’ll do really well if he keeps progressing the way he is. Nathan Blockley as well, he’s doing really well and is great at winning the ball back. His short game needs to improve and he can go onto a higher level.

WHO DID YOU LOOK UP TO AT THEIR AGE?
I played my first game for Aberdeen when I was 17 and there was boys like Eoin Jess and Joe Miller there, latterly Billy Dodds and players like that. They had a great squad of players. I would probably say Joe Miller was really good for me because I was trying to break in as a winger and when I did fall back to centre half or right back he was good at calming the situation down and speaking to me.

You learn from the players you play beside. You play along these guys and you know, like for instance Marvin Andrews - when he went for a ball in the air he was going to win it regardless of whether it was in your area or their area, and you learn to play with that. 


Interview by Douglas Barrie. 

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