The Ton suffered a chastening Renfrewshire derby defeat at the hands of Jack Ross’s resurgent Saints side, conceding three times in the second half after Andy Murdoch had cancelled out Stelios Demetriou’s opener before the break.
Cappielow gaffer Duffy had stern words for his squad at full-time and said that he would be having a sleepless night following as poor a 90 minutes as he can remember from the current team.
Speaking exclusively to gmfc.net after the match, he said: “I’m extremely angry. We never started. We allowed St Mirren to dominate from pretty much the first minute.
“We didn’t learn our lesson, even in the early part of the game, that St Mirren were going to play a high pressing game. We knew it and explained it to the players before the game.
“A lot of the players had actually seen St Mirren playing and knew the way they played – but for one reason or another we invited them to go and close us down, taking too many touches or playing the wrong passes … just everything.
“The decision making from us tonight from the first minute to pretty much the last minute was as poor as I can remember. Our game understanding, our game appreciation, was so poor tonight.
“Everyone looked a yard off the pace. Not even half a yard – a yard off the pace, and I really only give credit to Aidan Nesbitt. He’s the only one I think could hold his head up a little bit.
“That’s because although he didn’t get a lot of the ball, when he did get it, he got at the full-back and got crosses in, and that’s his job.
“Other than that I thought all other players played poorly, and if you have got that many players playing poorly, all departments playing poorly, how can you possibly win?
“It wasn’t a case of not trying or not working hard, but when you’re second to everything, the opposition look a yard sharper. That was the case right through the team.
“They looked so out of sorts tonight, in every aspect. We defended poorly, we never created anything, and our front players were muscled out of the game.
“The Stevie Mallan goal is a good goal, but it’s our centre. We take kick-off, miskick kick-off and it gets thrown up and scuffed out to Mallan, and we know what he’s capable of.
“You’re allowing a player with his ability to have a free shot at goal from about 20-25 yards. We were ball watching, we were dreaming, and that was symptomatic of everything in the game.
“Not only did we not play technically but we weren’t alert to situations, and as a result we were punished. I mean, with the third goal there was a mix-up in the middle of the pitch and allowed them to run through.
“It’s something we’d never normally do. And once that one went in, the game was finished because we weren’t playing well enough to get back into the game, and obviously it’s an error from Gats [Derek Gaston] at the fourth one.
“When it’s a derby, you want to be organised and have that desire, and in all the derbies we’ve played since I’ve been here, we’ve competed really well. Except for tonight.
“Tonight we didn’t compete. St Mirren seemed hungrier than us, and that shouldn’t happen. It’s completely out of character for this team, but we have to hold our hands up, individually and collectively, and say we never turned up.
“There was absolutely nothing we could take from the game tonight that would help us not have a sleepless night – because, believe me, I’ll have a sleepless night tonight, that’s for sure.”
Image: David Bell