Duffy frustrated with Falkirk performance

Frustrated manager Jim Duffy says his side have to be more clinical in and around the box after drawing a blank in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Falkirk.

The Ton have scored one goal or less in 14 of their 20 Ladbrokes Championship fixtures so far this season and this is something gaffer Duffy has identified as something that has haunted his side.

He feels it cost them a point against the Bairns at the weekend and insists hitting the back of the net is the area in need of specific improvement .

He told gmfc.net: “We’re extremely disappointed with the result. It was a really frustrating performance. In the first 20 to 25 minutes, Falkirk got themselves in front and were very organised and disciplined.

“But it was very similar to the last couple of games, where we’ve had so many balls in and around the six-yard line, getting blocked, the keeper saving it and not capitalising on those opportunities.

“If that happens in one game or maybe even two games … but it’s happened to us in three or four games – at least!

“We’ve got to be a lot better than that, we’ve got to be on the front foot a lot more, and take the opportunities that come our way.

“The game was ultimately settled by a scrappy goal, but we don’t seem to score too many scrappy goals. We did score one last week, but we don’t get too many, and that’s something we’ve got to improve upon.

“We’ve had chances cleared off the line, and that’s why I’m saying it’s frustrating – we’re disappointed with the result – but we’re frustrated because we should at least be taking something from these games.

“We want all three points, but we should at least be taking a point. Week in, week out there’s not too much between any of the teams, and it was evident today.

“Falkirk were resolute, defended well, they’re big and strong at the back and made it difficult for us at times, to break them down.

“But we did get balls into good areas – we just weren’t alert enough to get that ball over the line. It’s not the first time, or the second time, and it’s something we’ve got to improve on.

“Because you can only do so much. You can only get so many crosses into the box, so many shots at goal, so many efforts, but ultimately it’s got to hit the back of the net. And that’s something we haven’t done well enough.

“We’re getting a lot of balls into good areas, but we’re not capitalising on the amount of balls we get into the box and it’s something that’s haunted us really for the whole season.

“We get one goal, one goal, one goal … There have been two or three games where we have capitalised on chances, but not enough.

“That’s something we’ve got to improve upon. And if you don’t improve upon sticking the ball in the back of the net then you’re always going to be one mistake away from a loss.”

The Ton boss went back to a 4-4-1-1 formation after utisling a 3-4-1-2 against Brechin City and made two changes to his side.

He explained: “Jai was injured. We went with Michael Tidser and Gary Harkins in the midfield, because we knew they played a 3-5-2 and I just felt like we wanted to get on the ball in the middle of the pitch and use the width.

“With Tiff [Scott Tiffoney] on one side and Thommo [Robert Thomson] on the other side, with Mark Russell and Doyley [Michael Doyle] getting outside them.

“I think some parts of that worked pretty well. We didn’t get outplayed in the middle of the pitch – I didn’t think that was the problem – it was down to a scrappy goal.

“Ultimately, that was the difference between getting no points and at least one point. I don’t think we deserved all three, but we deserved at least a point.

“The attitude of the players was again terrific, the desire terrific, but these should be ‘gimmes’ anyway. We can’t keep patting ourselves on the back for commitment.

“We’ve got to be better in and around the box. That’s not just down to the strikers; it’s down to anticipating second balls, whether that’s midfielders or wide players. Everyone’s got to take share of the responsibility.”


Image: Gary Bradley