Manager Gary Caldwell provided a frank assessment of his side’s 3-1 opening-day defeat at home to Grimsby Town, focusing on the positive aspects of the performance while highlighting areas which must be improved on in the future.
Strikes from Nathan Clarke, Sam Jones and Ben Davies sealed the win for a resolute visiting side and rendered a fine Kristian Dennis strike as meaningless. Ian Evatt was dismissed in the closing stages as a result of a late challenge which resulted in a spot-kick, with Zak Mills also receiving a red card for violent conduct following an altercation with Dennis.
Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Caldwell said: “We’re disappointed with the result, but not the performance. Fine details cost us the game, but we impressed for large periods.
“It’s important that we are more ruthless in the middle of the field. I’m delighted with the effort from the players and for most of the second half we were knocking on the door.
“Overall, there were a lot of positives to take but we still need to work on certain things. If we can iron those slight issues out, we will be consistent and start winning games.
“Their goalkeeper made some decent saves, there were a few blocks on the line and it was just one of those days.
“We were far too open at times and got caught on the counter-attack. It was a situation where we went two-nil down in a game which we should never be behind by such a margin.
“It was a case of one or two passes, then they’re in our box and we go behind. I’m disappointed at the manner in which we conceded, because we were creating chances and had several attempts before going behind.”
Evatt left the field after receiving a red card, but Caldwell had no major objection to the decision despite bemoaning the fact that a situation of that kind came to pass: “I don’t have complaints about the decision, the referee had to make it in such a situation.
“It’s something we can learn from, look back on in future and avoid wherever possible. If we improve on little aspects of our game, then it won’t be a problem and that’s the most important thing for us. Moving forward, we will put the result behind us.”
Several members of the squad made their competitive debuts for the club, including the likes of Robbie Weir, Jordan Sinnott and Gozie Ugwu. Overall, Caldwell was pleased for the most part: “I think everyone has done well, put a lot of effort in and showed a level of quality for large periods. Ultimately, this is one game and there’s a long way to go.
“We will take it on the chin, move on and improve. We want to be at the top of the pile at the end. That’s the most important thing and it’s a process.
“It’s a disappointment for the fans who were brilliant throughout, but this is a long season and we will improve.”