U20s boss Stephen Craigan insisted that his side’s loss against Falkirk tonight was not a result of their hard work during Sunday’s Youth Cup win.
The youngsters were reduced to ten men early on against Morton on Sunday and fought hard to progress, but during the 3-1 loss at the Falkirk Stadium this evening the team looked a bit sluggish.
While Craigan didn’t allow any excuses, he also felt there wasn’t a lot serparating the two sides.
Speaking to MFC TV after the match, the manager said: “I think mentioning that fact that the boys played on Sunday is a bit of an excuse for them tonight. Falkirk played on Sunday as well and I think they made five changes while we made four.
“I think sometimes what you can learn from situations like this is about players resolve and what they’ve got in their locker and if they’ve got that wee bit of determination to push on through when the going gets tough.”
[pullquote]Sometimes what you can learn from situations like this is about players resolve and what they’ve got in their locker and if they’ve got that wee bit of determination to push on through when the going gets tough.[/pullquote]
He added: “To be honest I don’t think there was an awful lot in the game. We didn’t defend set plays or simple balls in to the box – we couldn’t physically cope.
“I just said to the boys in the dressing room if there’s parts of your game that you think you need to work on you’ve got to go and do it. The technical side we can work on, but some times a wee bit of application and a wee bit of desire, perhaps even a wee bit of personal appreciation of where you are in your game.”
Despite tonights loss, it has been an encouraging season so far for the young Steelmen and Craigan admitted he hasn’t had to raise his voice too often with his team.
He said: “I haven’t had to have a go at them too often this season but sometimes they just need a little reminder to not let games pass you by. Football is a short career and some of the boys don’t have long left on their contracts, and even for the ones that do, still don’t let games pass you by.
[pullquote]When you lose a game you get a bit emotional and you start to look at specific parts of the game. I just felt our passing was off early on, our touch wasn’t right.[/pullquote]
“You’ve got to go and commit in games and compete in games and show what you’re all about and certainly don’t look for excuses.
“Learning to live right, eat right and sleep right is part of being a footballer – it’s not all about learning how to pass the ball and control the ball – there’s stuff off the pitch you have to learn to do too.”
He added: “When you lose a game you get a bit emotional and you start to look at specific parts of the game. I just felt our passing was off early on, our touch wasn’t right.
“Whether we win the Development League or not isn’t going to affect the way our club is run – our aim is to get as many young players in to the first team as we possibly can.
“Whenever we have off nights like tonight you just have to remind them to have a reality check, see where we’re at and let’s go again.”