TALBOT manager Tommy Sloan’s tactical switch was crucial in winning a tight Ardagh Cup Final.

They had started with three in midfield, but changed to four, with the win proving the boss correct.

Speaking after beating Glenafton 1-0 at Meadow Park, he said: “At the start of the game we tried to play the same shape that we had in our previous match.

“But the players weren’t comfortable with it and, once we changed it, we got better in what had been an even game.

“We always had a cutting edge up front, I thought, with Jamie [Glasgow] and Graham [Wilson].

“Glens had two spectacular efforts at the start of the second half — the first one was amazing, actually — and we got a wee break there.

“But you need that to win things. In the Scottish Cup final they had a similar effort that flew into the top corner but they never managed that on this occasion.

“Over the piece we grew stronger and we were quite comfortable in the end but we are not quite there yet.”

Despite being one of junior football’s most successful managers, Sloan has not been cut any slack by some fans.

This prompted the committee to issue an unprecedented appeal for them to back the gaffer, who takes recent criticism on the chin.

He said: “There are players improving all the time and we still have guys like Steven White playing a big part — I am cock-a-hoop and the silverware will make the coming weeks a lot easier.”

Scorer and man-of-the-match Craig McCracken echoed his manager’s thoughts, and said: “The fans pay their money and have a right to say what they want.

“But there have been a lot of personnel changes which need to be taken into account and we are only a bit behind our goals tally for this time last year.

“It doesn’t matter that the manager was getting stick or not. We always wanted to win this. Not just for him.

“As a Talbot fan, scoring and winning in a cup final is different class and it makes it a bit sweeter coming after last season’s Scottish Cup final defeat.

“After their two near misses, I was thinking it was going to be the Scottish Cup final again but we were hungry for the win.”