Friday 10th July 2015

MANAGER Stevie Aitken was delighted to get his home campaign as Sons boss off to a winning start, but insists that the best is yet to come from the new look squad.

Despite only three players in Dumbarton’s starting eleven being part of the squad last season, Aitken is really pleased at the progress that has already been made.

Speaking after last night’s friendly victory over Heart of Midlothian, Aitken had this to say: “There’s still a wee bit to go. For a full team fourteen or fifteen players will probably come in, and for a manager that’s too many.

“The signs are good though and we’ll keep our feet on the ground particularly because it’s only friendlies.”

Stevie added that despite Dumbarton being one of the division’s only part time teams, the work has been anything but that so far, with the players coming in for training four nights a week rather than two.

He said: “It’s been a hectic four or five weeks but we’re getting there.

“I’m delighted at the response the players gave me in terms of their work rate, their attitude and their commitment. It’s everything I’ve asked for.

With pre-season well underway, and the first competitive game in just two weeks, Stevie already knows what he wants his starting eleven to be. Hardworking.

But, in terms of personnel, there is still work to be done.

He said: “I’m still getting to know some of the guys. There’s guys here, the likes of Jordan Kirkpatrick and Garry Fleming, who I don’t really know. So I’m trying to work with them in different positions and see what their strengths and weaknesses are.

“Just now It’s just about the players getting to know each other. If they give me the same commitment and attitude they gave me tonight I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

Willie Gibson was one of many making his home debut for Dumbarton against last season’s Championship winners, and after an exciting display in Edinburgh at the weekend, the gaffer was delighted to see the same form continue as he got two assists to his name.

“I thought he was terrific. He was great with me last year at Stranraer.

“When I signed him, people kind of warned me off him, saying ‘he’s this and he’s that’; but he was a breath of fresh air at Stranraer and he nearly got us over the line for the league.

“The challenge I gave him was, ‘can you keep that up in the Championship?’ And with a performance like that, there’s no doubt he can.”

Jack Crawford

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