Published: 01/12/2017 08:00 - Updated: 30/11/2017 10:22

Book, line and thinker: Power of positivity proves vital for Caley Thistle's Brad Mckay

Written byJamie Durent

Brad Mckay celebrates his second goal of the season - with his usual celebration dedicated to his father. Picture: Ken Macpherson.
Brad Mckay celebrates his second goal of the season - with his usual celebration dedicated to his father. Picture: Ken Macpherson.

 

YOU can take it as read that Brad Mckay is a positive thinker.

Ever since the Caley Thistle defender picked up books on positive mindsets, he has yet to lose a game.

He credits his reading habits as playing a vital part in his own turnaround in form, given he opened his first chapter during the club’s sticky spell earlier this season.

Mckay always dedicates his goals to his father Scott, who passed away five years ago, but also gave thanks to his girlfriend after his effort in Caley Thistle’s 4-0 win over Brechin on Tuesday night.

“I said to my girlfriend before the game that I’d text her if I scored. I’ve been reading a book on positive mindset – I’m massive on stuff like that,” said Mckay.

“It’s a book called The Secret; I’ve ready it before and I’ve now moved on to one called The Power. It’s all about positive mindset and how you perceive things. I told her I was going to score and I did. It was a left-footed volley and that’s what I’ll tell people – not how far out it was!

“When I picked that book up, we were going through a bit of a rough time, not winning games and conceding goals for fun. Since I picked that book up, we’ve not conceded a goal.

“There’s lots of wee quotes you can take what you wish from. If you can go into a game anxious about making a mistake – it’s not about ‘I hope I don’t’, it’s about what you are going to do well. When it happens, it’s brilliant.

“Rather than thinking ‘I hope it’s not me that messes up for a goal’ and then it happens, you shouldn’t be thinking like that. You need to look at the flipside and be positive about it. Things then start happening on the park.”

Thinking positive has certainly done Mckay the power of good. Tuesday night’s goal was his second of the season against Brechin and his eighth clean sheet playing alongside Coll Donaldson.

They were paired together for the Queen of the South game on September 30 were integral to the record-breaking run of 708 minutes without conceding. That record was broken during last weekend’s defeat to St Mirren where Mckay was suspended.

The close friends have not conceded a goal since they were paired together at the back, something Mckay attributes to their relationship off the park.

Brad Mckay, Connor Bell and Coll Donaldson have played big roles in ICT's revival. Picture: Ken Macpherson.
Mckay and Coll Donaldson have played big roles in ICT's revival. Picture: Ken Macpherson.

 

“Me and the big man have got a good understanding. We get on well of the park and some people might say that doesn’t matter, but I feel it does,” he said.

“When I played alongside Josh Meekings, I got along well with him and I felt we played well. That’s no disrespect to Gaz Warren as he’s a leader. He talks to you and makes your life easier.

“All you want is a centre-back is a partnership and a manager that believes in you. It’s not a case of saying well done to him, it’s a nod of the head or a tap of the hand. At the end of the game, we have another clean sheet.”

The former Hearts and St Johnstone defender has found himself more at home in his natural centre-back position this season, after a year of filling in at right-back.

Mckay felt uncomfortable being asked to play out of position – even playing at wing-back for the 1-1 draw with Partick Thistle in March.

However, bar the 2-1 defeat to Dumbarton, Mckay has started all of his games at centre-half, a move he credits as revitalising his own form.

“It was difficult for me last season. I’m a natural centre-back moving out to full-back and at times last season, I was playing as a wing-back with no wide players in front of me. A centre-back going out to wing-back isn’t natural. I feel comfortable there,” said Mckay.

Brad Mckay is congratulated by John Baird after opening the scoring. Picture: Ken Macpherson.
Brad Mckay is congratulated by John Baird after opening the scoring. Picture: Ken Macpherson.

 

“I feel a lot of boys that were here last season have a lot to prove. A lot of boys didn’t do themselves justice, to the club or the fans. That’s not for want of trying; some things just didn’t go to plan. But we want to get the club going in the right direction.”

He added getting the job done on Tuesday night was more important than how it came about.

“These games are more mental than anything. We’ve got the quality to beat them but they can make it difficult. They gave us a wake-up call early but we then put on a display which wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done,” said Mckay.

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