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It’s the 7th May 2014, we are at Tynecastle needing a win against Hearts to keep us in the Premier League. It’s my first season as manager and as you can imagine the stress levels are high, as we were one of a number of clubs that could have been relegated that season.
The family section at Tynecastle is right behind the dug out and we are losing 2-1 at half-time. One of the fans in that section let me know in no uncertain terms that one of our rivals for the drop, Kilmarnock, were winning, so the chant was “Nae luck Thistle, you are going down!” He had added a few expletives in that sentence just to emphasise the point!
Staying up meant so much to everyone associated with our club and my half-time team talk reflected that.
Gary Fraser hit a wonder strike into the roof of the net to make it 2-2 in the second half. Lee Mair and Kallum Higginbotham scored the other two goals to make it 4-2 and keep us safe.
I was so emotionally drained. As a player, I could celebrate winning games, but as a manager I just couldn’t switch off that season and my family were aware of the pressure.
The Chairman came into the dressing room after the game to congratulate us and all the players grabbed him and started jumping up and down shouting “We are going to Marbella.” They were thinking party and holidays, I was still thinking about who I was going to pick for next week’s team against Ross County!Back to The Football Family
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