Gaston: Mark was my man of the match

Derek Gaston made a hat-trick of second-half saves to help his side claim a point against Dundee United – but then insisted Mark Russell deserved the bottle of Prosecco presented to him as sponsors’ man of the match.

Goalkeeper Gaston made a wonder stop to deny Scott Fraser and followed up with superb reaction blocks to keep out Tony Andreu and then Jamie Robson.

Yet, despite that valuable contribution to his side’s draw with the Tannadice outfit, the 29-year-old felt his performance was eclipsed by that of team-mate Russell.

Speaking exclusively to, he said: “I think there was only maybe one save that I wouldn’t have been disappointed not to save.

“That was the one when the cross came in and the boy Scott Fraser volleyed it to my left. I think that was a good save.With the other two I stood up tall and big.

“With the last chance, I actually think he [Jamie Robson] should have cut that back. He’s obviously tried to fire it through my legs, but it’s quite a tight angle and I’ve stood up big.

“It is a good save and he has hit it quite hard, but I’d have been quite disappointed if I was beaten from that angle. I’ve got that front post covered and fancy my chances in that situation.

“So no, I don’t think I deserved man of the match. I think Mark Russell was a standout. If I thought I deserved it myself, I would have said myself, but I definitely think it should have gone to Mark.

“Even in the 90th minute, there was panic stations round about the box and he’s picked it up in the centre of the box and just turned and away he went.

“Anybody else would have kicked the ball out for a throw in while facing their own goal, but he’s just swivelled on the ball and away he goes. He’s great to watch and improves every week.

“I think at the start of the season, and he’ll admit this himself, he wants his usual self. He’s taken a wee while to get going, but in the last six weeks maybe he’s come back to the Mark Russell that we all know.

“He’s been moving up to left midfield and has adapted great. That’s two weeks in a row: he scored a great goal against Dumbarton last week and today he was brilliant.

“I don’t think he’ll be here very long. If there are teams watching us most weeks then they’ve got to be impressed by how good Mark is. Players like him get bums off seats and are few and far between.”

Home comforts … Gaston praised the backing of the Cappielow crowd at the weekend                         © David Bell

The Ton picked up a point against Ray McKinnon’s men to maintain an unbeaten home run that stretches back 12 matches to March of this year, and Gats says they have confidence they can give anyone a game at Cappielow.

He added: “On the basis of how well we’ve been doing over the last couple of months, we fancy our chances against anyone, especially at home.

“You’ve got to go away back to March for the last time we got beat here, so we do usually do pretty well. Why is that? We are a hard working side and go and press teams and harass them all over the pitch.

“So I think the fact that is quite a tight, compact pitch, it maybe helps us and means other teams don’t have as much space to be creative, while letting us go and play our game and suits us.

“Also, the fans have been great. They have been on our side and really encouraging us, especially towards the end of the game against Dundee United to try and go and get the win. I think they realise we are putting a lot of effort in.

“Even if we were to have lost on Saturday, I don’t think the fans would have been on our case and booing. I think they would have realised we tried our best.”


Images: David Bell