Monday 15th November 2021

MANAGER Stevie Farrell called for togetherness and hard work after Dumbarton’s seventh game without a win against Falkirk on Saturday.

The gaffer conceded that Sons were deservedly beaten by the Bairns, and shouldered responsibility as manager for the recent run of two draws and five defeats.

However, he is well aware of what will be needed in the bid to bounce back, starting with Saturday’s important trip to Clackmannanshire to face Alloa Athletic.

The hard work of his players in training gives the manager faith that a turning point is somewhere along the line.

Speaking to, Stevie said: “We are having a difficult period at the moment and Saturday was our poorest performance of the season.

“I am a manager who accepts responsibility and it is all mine – not my players or my coaching staff. It goes with the territory and I will not shirk or walk away from that.

“We had a fantastic start to the season and are now going through a really difficult spell. The only things that will get us out of it are togetherness, hard work, belief and desire.

“I’ve been here before as a manager on a couple of occasions and will be again, particularly as manager of a club in a league as competitive as League One. You are going to have ups and downs.

“The reality is that when it is good you take the praise, and when it is bad you take the criticism, but it is all mine and I am not just saying that to curry favour. When you go through bad times the onus is on you, and it is up to me to get the players back to where they were.

“Their confidence is low – we have so many players low on confidence. However, training is really good – the players are continuing to work hard and that is one positive.

“I know they will come through this when I see how hard they work.

“I look at the run and see how we played against Clyde, and the steel and spirit we showed at Airdrie. That spirit remains in the group and that will get them through.

“But the fans have every right to criticise. The standards we have set are the standards they saw and enjoyed earlier in the season, and we have fallen below those standards. That is something I have to take on the chin and look to move us on from.”

A victory at Alloa on Saturday will move Sons within a point of the sixth-placed Wasps – and Stevie wants his players to go there feeling it is possible.

He added: “We brought in 23 players in a short period over the close season and they have only had three months with each other. There will be peaks and troughs and that is the case at any club with so many new players. It is not a long time and the learning process is continuing.

“But I have always said – as coach, assistant and manager – that you don’t pay any attention to a league table in November. I never have, and I never will.

“The table is decided in April, and we have shown we are capable. There have been better managers than me, and better teams than us, that have gone through really difficult times, stuck together as a group, and got through them.

“Right now Saturday’s game at Alloa is the most important one and we’ve got to have confidence we can go there and change our fortunes.

“We were unlucky to lose the late goal against Clyde, whereas yesterday we deserved what we got – nothing.

“Let’s get behind the players. This is the same group that gave the club a really good first quarter. They’re a good group of players and will get back to it.”

Andy Galloway

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