Duffy: Ton were below Par against Dunfermline

Manager Jim Duffy said there were no excuses for Saturday’s loss to Dunfermline Athletic and that he was extremely disappointed by the performance as well as the result.

Pars midfielder Nat Wedderburn scored what turned out to be the only goal of the game when he tapped in on the line following a 15th-minute corner.

Third-placed Morton were not at their best over the course of the 90 minutes and perplexed Greenock gaffer Duffy admitted there was a spark missing.

He told gmfc.net: “I’m just extremely disappointed with the performance and the result. Sometimes you can have a good performance and you don’t always get the result, with a bit of bad luck or a bad decision.

“But on Saturday that wasn’t the case. There was a spark missing from the players. There was a good crowd in, which was very positive and supportive, and it was a perfect day for football, so there are no excuses really.

“I think a wee bit perplexed is how I’d describe how I feel, because when you’re on a good run, there’s usually a real bounce and a real spark, but the way we played, that was missing and that surprised me really.

“We had about nine corners in the second half, and normally we’re a bit better [at posing a threat]. From deadballs to open play to second balls – everything – we were a level down on what we normally have been.

“We didn’t play at our best in any area of the pitch. At times this season, if we haven’t been at our best, we’ve still managed to be difficult to break down, difficult to score against, and managed to nick a point or three.

“It wasn’t for lack of commitment or attitude to try and win the game – but we weren’t anywhere near the levels we have shown so far this season and the edge was missing.

“And it was a difficult game, don’t get me wrong: Dunfermline were up for the challenge. They really closed us down, were strong and resilient at the back,  turned us around at times and their front two were always a threat.

“The goal is an error, but after that I thought Derek Gaston was magnificent; he made two or three fantastic saves. He’s been outstanding anyway, and to me he’s one of the top goalkeepers in the country.

“Although their goalkeeper had two or three good saves as well, I don’t think we can complain about the result. Sometimes you can be a wee bit unfortunate, but that wasn’t the case at the weekend.”

Looking forward … Duffy says his players must put thoughts of their unbeaten run behind them   © David Bell

The Ton came within a day of going one calendar year undefeated at Cappielow, but while Duffy was keen to stress that the achievement was still worth praise, he added football is always about looking forward.

He explained: “To go the period of time we have at any level of football is fantastic. But what I’ve said to the players is that you can’t look behind you.

“It’s about the game ahead of you. Even if you win, the pat on the back lasts for hours if you want to call it that, then you’ve got to put it behind you and move on to the next challenge.

“The very good teams do that. The teams aspiring to be very good teams have to find a way to do that. And we’re aspiring to be a very good team.

“We’re a good side in this division – we’ve shown that all season – but we’re not an exceptional side. We’ve still got things to learn, and we’ve got to learn how you get prepared mentally for every challenge in every game.

“Whether it’s me who’s been in the game a long time or some of these players who’re early in their careers, there’s still things to be improved upon and we’ll keep trying to achieve that.”


Images: David Bell