JOHN TRIPP has vowed Glasgow’s Braehead Clan will become a formidable defensive unit under his new era on Clyde side.

The Canadian is just two days into his tenure but has already sent a clear message to the Purple Army about what they can expect from his side.

On the back of a season that saw Ryan Finnerty’s team ship sloppy goals at the back, it will be music to the ears of the thousands of fans eager for success that the new head coach has targeted bringing in a strong goalie with an even mightier defence in front of him.

And in an exclusive chat with SportTimes, the 40-year-old Canadian said: “I don’t know if they had a lack of toughness, but I’ll see who is available.

“I’m not just going to bring in any piece, it’s got to be the right one.

“My main concentration for now is getting a goalie and a defence. I feel they are harder to find than forwards and that’s my main concerns.”

When asked if it was an area he had identified as a weak point under his predecessor, Tripp said: “I haven’t identified it because it’s hard to watch the games, you read the standings and talk to people and get the right information.

“It’s a fresh start. There’s a lot of players gone, there will be some more coming in and maybe some will return.

“You can’t go anywhere without having a defensive team. You can’t go anywhere without having that. The best teams are always really good structurally and defensive, and that starts with a goalie.

“Hopefully we can find that right piece. It’s not easy to find goalies.

“I’m working on that. I like to start at the bottom and work my way to the top. It’s not like an Oreo cookie you don’t just work on the outside and fill up in the middle.”

This will be the former National Hockey League star’s second head coach role following a spell with German League Two outfit Eispiraten Crimmitschau.

Beyond that, the man from Ontario has an impressive track record at the highest level. During a career as a right wing, Tripp iced for both the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings, as well as enjoying an 11-year spell in Germany.

However, he believes this is the right time to make the switch to Scotland.

“It’s a good opportunity. It’s what I wanted,” he said.

“I got a taste for being a head coach last year. The year before I was player/ assistant. I’m really excited about this chance for me.

“I’d been in touch with Gareth over the last couple of years and the opportunity came up. I decided not to go back to Germany, I had other options but I felt this was a good fit to where I need to go.

“I am fairly familiar with the league. I have a couple of friends over there who coach so I’m up to date. Not all the teams but a lot of them like Nottingham and Belfast and obviously Braehead.

“I take it as an opportunity to further myself and help the team out. I know the league is somewhat similar to the second league in Germany. I definitely know they like their tough guys.”

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