CALEY Thistle captain Gary Warren wants to get back to enjoying his football – as he plays a waiting game on his own future.
Warren was recalled to the team for the defeat to St Mirren on Saturday, his first appearance since the loss against Dumbarton in September.
The experienced centre-back turned 33 in August and has another season on his contract after this year. However, the form of Brad Mckay and Coll Donaldson has kept him on the sidelines over the last two months, while they embarked on a club-record clean-sheet run.
“I’m feeling fitter than I was. I’m feeling good so it’s just a case of seeing what happens now. At my age you just want to be playing and enjoying being out on the park. Enjoy trying to pass on as much advice and experience to people as you can,” he said.
“It’s nice to be back out there playing – just disappointing that we’ve lost. Defensively we looked good, I don’t think we looked much like conceding. There was the dodgy decision and then the second one you’re going to get when you’re chasing the game.”
He hopes to have done enough to keep his place for the game with Brechin City tonight, even with Brad Mckay back available again after suspension.
The Caley Jags should otherwise be along the same lines as Saturday, with Collin Seedorf and Aaron Doran both likely to be on the bench again. Felitciano Zschusschen is still out.
Warren signed his last contract extension in January last year, adding two years to his deal that would have expired this summer.
He was named club captain at the start of last season but has missed time this campaign due to a broken hand.
His first start did not go to plan, with a controversial 2-0 defeat to the Saints in horrnedous conditions at the Caledonian Stadium.
Referee John McKendrick came in for heavy criticism for his handling of a number of incidents, including the penalty given against Liam Polworth and Iain Vigurs’ red card.
“I felt out there we didn’t get looked after. As a player you make mistakes and you get punished but the game has been taken out of our hands,” said Warren.
“If you’re looking at the letter of the law he (Craig Samson) probably should because he’s raised his hands. But I’ve not got a problem with that – people get heated during the game. It’s the first card for Iain that’s disappointing.
“That leads to frustration among the players when the referee doesn’t look after both sets of players. That’s what I think it’s boiled down to there.
“The first card for Iain is ridiculous. Their player is the one who squared up to him. If someone runs up to you in the street and gets in your face, you’re not going to cower away. Fair enough with the second one, he shouldn’t have done what he did, but with the first one you’re looking for the official to make a stronger decision.”
The Caley Jags skipper had a birds’ eye view of the penalty incident, after Kyle Magennis got past him before Polworth was adjudged to have blocked off the St Mirren midfielder.
“The penalty, if you’re looking at the size of the lad he’s about four-foot tall,” said Warren. “Any contact and you’re going to go down. In that situation you need a strong official. As a defender you’re looking to be strong but as an attacker in today’s game, lads go down too easily for my liking. It’s a shoulder to shoulder and the lad has gone down too easily.
“You don’t have to make a decision on impact. You can take 20 seconds to make sure you’re right. They didn’t look scoring apart from that and it’s given them an edge.”
“In my years of playing that’s one game I’ll look back at and say how we’ve not come away with something?,” said Warren. “When it’s tough like that you need a strong official who’s going to manage the game well.”