Speaking after our 1-0 defeat at Home Park on Saturday, Michael Duff said the Reds didn’t do the basics well enough, but stressed that there is still plenty of time to improve.
A Finn Azaz goal on the stroke of half-time for the Pilgrims was enough to see Barnsley come away from our season opener with nothing, despite the Reds hitting the upright and having an effort cleared off the line.
“We got undone on basics really,” opened Duff. “It’s something we need to learn from. "But, there were moments in the game where we created two or three chances, and ultimately we need to score one of them.
“We’ve had moments in the game, but there’s a frustration that we didn’t come away with anything.”
Despite the disappointment of kicking off the season with a loss, Duff emphasised how early we are in the season and that development that can still occur in the matches to come.
“We’re 90 minutes into the season,” he stressed. “It’s about not getting too carried away. If the ball goes six inches further over the line in the 94th minute, people will be going home saying ‘what a good point that was’."
Next up for the Reds sees us host Cheltenham Town at Oakwell in our first home league game of the 22/23 campaign. Attention will be drawn to the fact that Cheltenham are Duff’s former team, both as a player and a manager, but the 44-year old argued the occasion is not about him.
“It’s irrelevant about me, it’s our first home game.” Duff told us. “We need to do things that we didn’t do in this game. That’s what we’ll be working on in the week, to hurt them. I think they were 2-0 up against Peterborough, so if anyone thinks it’s going to be a cake walk - absolutely no chance.”
Finally, the gaffer wanted to thank the 900+ fans who made the 300-mile journey down to Home Park on Saturday, and made reference to the time and financial sacrifice it took to back the Reds in Devon.
“Brilliant effort, we can’t stress that enough. It took us eight hours to get here yesterday, so we know how far away it is!”
“Hard-earned money, when petrol costs so much money at the minute. They stayed with us right until the end.”