Following Saturday’s comeback against TNS in Wales to secure the Sons a place in this season’s Irn-Bru Cup Final, defender Craig Barr is looking to build some momentum with so many league matches on the horizon for Dumbarton over the next few weeks.
Looking at his transition into part-time football, the 30-year-old commented:
“On a personal level, it has definitely been a good move for me. It is important to get games under your belt, especially after my well-documented struggles with injuries. For me, it was all about games first and foremost. I have possibly played more matches this season than I have combined over the last 2 or 3, so, in that sense, my move Dumbarton has certainly been a good move.
We are going through a wee sticky patch right now: we had been looking quite solid, hard to beat and keeping clean-sheets, and, as a defender, that is what we want. We want to get back to that and it is something I feel we can definitely do, I am confident about that. We have had a few injuries, especially in the full-back positions, and the guys who have came in have done a job, but, I think it has maybe disjointed us a little as a back four and as a unit. We are hoping to rectify that pretty soon.”
“Less is more” claims Barr as the Sons number 55 embraces life as a part-time player.
“As I said in the summer, at this stage of my career and with me having to train less on different surfaces, then it should benefit me and I think the games I have played this season have proven that. Of course, at first, it was difficult to get used to, but, like anything, after you do something for 2 or 3 weeks it becomes a part of your routine and it just becomes normal within your schedule. I wouldn’t say [the transition from full-time football] was easy. At first, it was difficult – I have played football my whole career for the past 14 or 15 years. I have done it since I left school at 16-years old and I had never had another job, I never looked at another job, albeit I did do some qualifications off my own back just to keep me ticking over, so, having been thrown out there and having no real choice but needing to go and get a job, it was daunting. It was a challenge, but, you just need to deal with it as you would a challenge on the football park; you face it full-on and if you do that, you’ll always find a solution.”
With the Sons now 9th in the table, Barr knows there’s little time to waste as Stevie Aitken’s side battle for survival in the Scottish Championship.
“I would say our recent results haven’t been great…throughout the performances have proven that as well, in my opinion. At the start of the season, everything looked good: we were playing nice football while doing well at the back. We need to get back to that, as we know how difficult it is in this league. Recent results probably justify where we are right now, but, we are confident enough we can get back on track and get back to where we were beforehand.
Obviously, [playing Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday] can work either way, but, we train on a Tuesday night anyway, so, it makes no difference to us apart from we are playing a game. We hope it’ll work to our advantage and we can build some momentum up through positive results because, if we do, we can be in a totally different position, in two or three weeks’ time.”