Jim Jefferies post AirdrieSaturday, 13th Dec 2014
13/12/14: JJ - "You will not win games when you are giving away goals like we do.
- - Listen to these Jim Jefferies post match comments
Jim Jefferies did not emerge from the dressing room at the Excelsior Stadium until after 5.30pm and when he did, he told the awaiting media that after what happened in midweek in the Scottish Cup replay against Stranraer, to lose a goal in two minutes 15 seconds wasn't the best of starts. He described it:-
"If you look at the three goals that we lost. The three goalscorers were on their own. The first (Bryan Prunty) was on his own, the second one was from a cross into the box and despite all those players being in the box, the boy was on his own and he banged it in. The third one was even worse; it was headed out to the edge of the box and we have three midfield players and not one of them was near. When the boy struck it from the edge of the box he was under no pressure whatsoever.
"Let's face it, we had enough of the ball today - probably more than they had - we showed enough tenacity but we over elaborated. We didn't get the final ball in. We didn't have enough guile to play round about it.
"Then when we got a couple of chances; the one in the first half, Allan Smith stuffed outside of goal. Airdrie probably had four opportunities and three of them went in the net. I am not saying that we had any more than them because their defence was better than ours today.
"I wouldn't just blame the defence. You defend as a team from the front and the midfield players are getting caught up trying to attack all the time. They are not doing their job once we lose the ball and keeping their shape. What they are doing is leaving gaps and we are getting caught. We will have to have a rethink there."
Returning to the two chances he referred to earlier he lamented the miss by Smith and then one in the second half where Gregor Buchanan headed the ball across the face of goal from a free kick:-
"Andy Geggan gets goals from that area but he didn't take the chance either. What concerns me more is the goals that we are giving away. We have gone from improving in that area; if you look at the last four games - three goals conceded today, three goals on Tuesday, two against Ayr United and two at Stranraer. That's ten goals and that is probably not far away from how many we have lost in all the rest of the games put together.
"We are back to gifting goals and that is which is putting us under pressure to score. We are not doing that side of it either so we need to make it far more difficult. We are giving away goals that are costing us.
"They are goals that are easily avoidable. Players are just getting too caught up in doing their own thing and not doing it for the team."
The manager was suggesting that problems lie in all departments but reflected that the weakness in defence has coincided with the absence of Lewis Martin:-
"He must be a top player. He came back in and we had a clean sheet against Stirling Albion. He went to Stranraer but lost a goal that was a freak and an own goal in the last minute. Over the last ninety minutes we defended really well. Then all of a sudden the laddie goes out and since he has been out we have lost two against Ayr, we lost three in midweek and lost three again today. It is surely not down to one person?
"I think the midfield players are getting too caught up and getting carried away. They are naturally good footballers. Geggan is concentrating more in getting into the box, which he is good at. But you have got to the rest first; getting into the box for a midfielder is a bonus.
"We had three strikers on today and midfield is leaving far too many gaps. When the ball is played into the box and we do play it out there are not enough people there to shield the back four. That's what's costing us.
"Look at these three goals today. They were all on their own when they put the ball in the net; there was nobody near them, you cannot get away with that.
"Prunty got the first one, Blockley got the second one - he ran past Alex Whittle to come in at the back post and put the ball in the net. Marc Fitzpatrick was allowed to tee up the third with no Dunfermline players near him.
"It is schoolboy stuff. Where are the midfield players? When the ball is wide and coming back in, they have to get back in there so that when it is headed out they are closing it down or winning it. Then you hit them on the break.
"You will not win games when you are giving away goals like we do. In the last three weeks we have been giving them away far too easily, we need to solve that problem and before next Saturday.
"This league will chop and change; you can be second, first or third one week but then down out of it the next. It becomes a really really big game again next week. We will be a lot better I can assure. We will be a lot tighter than we have been in the last couple of games because you will not get away with that week in week out.
"Teams will know to get in about us because we are a footballing side. That is what this league is all about, we need to learn fast to get our shape right.
"When you lose the first goal teams have something to hold on to. They are not going to give it away easily. They didn't do that today, it took a free kick. Buchanan is one of the defenders back there who has lost the goals but he is the one who got us a goal at the other end. You cannot rely on that all the time.
"Forwards have to start putting the ball in the net when we are getting the chances. Buchanan scored down at Stranraer, Geggan scored there as well from a free kick. Shaun Byrne and Andy Stirling scored against Ayr and Smith got two.
"We are leaving ourselves too exposed and we are getting caught because we think we should go and outplay teams all the time. You cannot do that; you need to keep your shape right and grind out results."
No Dunfermline players talked to the media after this match.
- - Listen to Airdrieonians manager Gary Bollan
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