Jim Duffy: We didn’t perform

Morton manager Jim Duffy admitted his side could have no complaints about their Irn-Bru Cup exit at the hands of Queen’s Park as they simply did not perform on the day.

Gus MacPherson’s Spiders booked their place in the fourth round of the revamped Challenge Cup competition thanks to goals from Adam Cummins and David Galt either side of half-time.

After the 2-0 loss at Hampden a disappointed Duffy said his team lacked an attacking spark and conceded that the League One outfit were worthy winners on the day.

He said: “We cannot complain about the result. We didn’t perform. There was a lot of huffing and puffing, but there was nothing clinical about us at all today. Everything was a bit one-paced, there was no spark, and Queen’s Park thoroughly deserved to win.

“It’s not so much that we conceded from another header, it’s that they’ve got to compete a little bit better. You can have somebody who is 6ft 5in or whatever it happens to be and they get above you and it’s a good delivery then sometimes there’s not a lot you can do about it.

“But it’s more to do with us keeping giving away cheap free-kicks. That was more my frustration, that we didn’t show more common sense in those situations.

“Conceding just before half-time and just after half-time is ideal for Queen’s Park. The second goal was a fantastic strike from the boy, but it’s only the second minute of the second half, and I felt we were still labouring coming out rather than coming out with a real tempo.

“Fair play to Queen’s Park – congratulations to Gus [MacPherson] and his team. They were organised, they denied us space, their work ethic and desire was terrific.

“They deserve to be in the next round and we deserved to lose, so we have to get back and get our thinking caps on again and try and get it right for the next match.”

That his team failed to trouble Queen’s goalkeeper Andrew Murphy over the course of the 90 minutes was something the Ton boss was particularly disappointed by with his team selection in mind.

He explained: “We played a very attack-minded team today. We played with two out-and-out wingers, two strikers, two footballing midfielders, and two full-backs with the licence to go forward, so I couldn’t really have played many more attacking players today.

“But you need those players to be on top of their game, to be creative and have that spark, and I felt that was missing. We didn’t put quality crosses in the box. When we did put crosses in the box, which was a rare occasion, they were poor.

“When we did get up in and around the box we wanted too many touches. You’ve got to release it and pass it and move into space quicker, and we didn’t do that right through the game.

“If you don’t do that against a team who are disciplined and organised then they’ll just get back into shape quickly and that’s exactly what they did: every time we took an extra touch they just filled the gap and they did well.”

Left-back Lewis was praised by his manager                                         © David Bell

The only positive Duffy could take from the afternoon was that 16-year-old left-back Lewis Strapp and 18-year-old winger Scott Tiffoney started another competitive match for the senior team.

He added: “My only consolation from the game today was getting more first-team experience for young Tiff and Lewis Strapp, who did well again.

“That’s the side of things that we have to do, give these boys an opportunity, and sometimes they learn more through defeats because of the hurt, the disappointment, the frustration and the criticism that comes with it.

“They are talented young players but we’re needing the experienced players to help them a little bit today. Those two are exempt from criticism, but everyone else is due a degree of it on one level or another.”


Images: David Bell