Coughlin: QP game went ‘exactly how I wanted it to’

John CoughlinJohn Coughlin made no apologies for the goalless draw served up at Hampden Park on Saturday as the ‘Gers made it four games unbeaten against Queen’s Park this season.

According to the SPFL, Berwick failed to record a single shot all afternoon against the Spiders, who themselves only managed three with Mark Walters having to produce just a solitary save.

However, Coughlin was pleased to be heading back down the road with a point in the bag and another clean sheet – the fourth in 15 league games under him – and he revealed the game panned out as he’d hoped.

“It was exactly what I expected it to be and it was exactly what I wanted it to be,” he said. “It wasn’t the most exciting game, I know that, but I went to make sure that we didn’t lose a goal. That was the way that the team was designed to play and the good thing from a coaching point of view was that the team carried out the plan.

“At half-time, the players could see that what we’d set out to do was working, we were doing really well, it was whether we could go and put the final touches to it and get the winning goal. It was always going to be a 1-0 game and we’ve played Queen’s Park four times this season and they’ve only managed to score past us once.”

The clean sheet was the ‘Gers’ fourth in their last 11 league games – the team only managed one in 11 league games under previous manager Colin Cameron this season – with Coughlin adamant that defensive stability is of the utmost importance when seeking results in Scottish League Two.

“That type of performance is the basis for picking up points,” he said. “We don’t score a lot of goals – as shown by the league table – so it’s a must that we don’t ship a load at the other end. When I first came into the job, we were losing far too many goals and our goal difference was terrible, so slowly but surely we’re eradicating that and, in the long run, I think we’ll be better for it.”

By Martin Inglis