Duffy: We need a marked improvement

Manager Jim Duffy has challenged his players to show a marked improvement on Tuesday night’s Irn-Bru Cup performance against Livington when they return to league duty away at Inverness Caledonian Thistle tomorrow.



Duffy was angry in the aftermath of midweek loss to Livi and expects a positive response from his players:

“In terms of the performance levels, we’re looking for a marked improvement. We saw the two sides of football really within the same of three days.

“We were absolutely tremendous against St Mirren and the complete opposite against Livingston: we didn’t turn up and didn’t deserve anything other than being knocked out.

“So we’re looking at performance levels. You can’t always guarantee winning, but our performance levels have to be a lot better than they were on Tuesday.

“Desire is not something we’ve questioned about the players, but I don’t think anyone could argue that, on Tuesday, the hungrier team won.

That was the most disappointing thing – it sticks in the throat – so the players are under no illusions that was something we’re not happy about, at all.

“It’s up to them to show a response and that determination, and the best way to do that is to do it up in Inverness on Saturday.”

However, the Ton boss also expects the hosts to be in a similar frame of mind after a heavy defeat to Dunfermline, adding:

“It’s going to be a difficult match for us up in Inverness. They lost comprehensively last week against Dunfermline.

“Like any team that has lost like that, the only way you can get back on track again is to quickly get a positive result, particularly at home.

“So I’m sure they’ll be fired up for it; John Robertson will have them really fired up for the challenge.

“That will probably make it even more difficult than it might’ve been against a side who, let’s not forget, were a Premiership side for the last seven years.”

Duffy brought goalkeeper Ross Doohan to the club on loan this week, and when asked if the teenager would be involved tomorrow, he replied:

“We’ll maked a decision on that tomorrow [Friday]. All the other guys who played on Tuesday have had no ill-effects, so we’ll have pretty much the same squad to choose from.

“But I’ve got a bit of thinking to do. I’ve told the players that if they’re selected to play, they can feel fortunate – and if they’re not, they can’t complain.”

Image: Jonathan Mitchell