BASIC errors such as poor tackling and decision-making need to be ironed out if West of Scotland FC are to start winning games – says head coach Ewan Smith.
This is his frank assessment ahead of Saturday’s home game at Burnbrae, when West face Dumfries in the league.
Smith said: “Despite making a good start against Greenock last week we let that slip away in the second and Greenock heaped more misery on the young West team.”
At the half way point West were leading 17-12, but the opposition slowly hauled themselves back into the match and exploited poor tackling by the Burnbrae lads.
The second half was a totally different game with Greenock putting West to the sword.
Smith believes it exposed West’s inability to convert simple overlaps in the first half, coupled with poor tackling throughout the game.
However, on the plus side he said: “We prepared very well last week and were looking forward to building on the Ardrossan game the previous week.
“We started as well as I have seen us this season and really should have converted a couple of early opportunities, but some poor decision-making and basic errors at crucial times let these chances slip by.”
And Smith pinpointed an even greater concern: “The amount of missed tackles through the spine of the team which allowed Greenock to get in behind us far too easily.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game, Smith said the squad need to believe they can win.
He added: “We play Dumfries at home and it’s not quite a must-win match, but we really need to kick the losing habit that is hanging over us.
“There may well be a few new faces in the starting line-up as a few of the boys are just not performing to the required standard, as well as us picking up a few more injuries to add to the ever-growing injury list.
“It’s been a frustrating last few weeks as there is the nucleus of a good team here at West.
“The players just need to pull together, concentrate on the simple things and we will turn the corner.”
MUST DO BETTER . . . Ewan Smith says the squad need to stop making basic errors.