'Confidence just drains out of the players' - Rennie admits results haven't been good enough for a play-off hunt

Falkirk head coach Martin Rennie admitted the confidence of his players was once again shot after they conceded the first goal in a match, as he said a successful play-off push required better results than the Bairns faltering squad are currently able to achieve.

By Ben Kearney
Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 12:39 am
Updated Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 1:09 am

Montrose were 3-0 winners on Saturday at the Falkirk Stadium, with the third-placed side cruising to victory through goals from Lyall Cameron, Michael Gardyne and Ross Campbell.

Speaking afterwards, he said of the performance: “It’s been a familiar story this season and for a while at this football club, we lost the first goal and when we do that, it seems to be that we lose so much confidence that it is hard to come back from it.

“We started the game pretty well then they score with the first real effort they had on goal.

Head coach Martin Rennie on the touchline (Pictures: Michael Gillen)

“When that happened we lost our energy but we hung in there until half time.

“But then we conceded a penalty and it kills us.

“I don’t know if it was a penalty but the referee took a long a long time to decide whether to give it or not.

“The confidence seems to just drain out of the players.

Montrose players celebrate their third goal in the rout

“We have lost games then we’ve bounced back from it in the next match, but that isn’t enough.”

With the Bairns stuck in fifth place, making the promotion play-off spots and catching Queen’s Park looks impossible.

Falkirk can’t string any results together and look shot of ideas.

“We have to as it stands make up four points in the next three games then that gives a chance in the last game,” Rennie explained.

Michael Gardyne scores from the spot in the second half

“That could change tomorrow but we have to be doing better than just getting a few results here and there.

“We lost both our centre backs to injury this week and that affected us in a big way.

“It feels like one of those seasons where you get a little bit of momentum then you lose a couple of key players.

“It’s been stop start the whole way along, but the club has been in that spiral for a long time.

Lyall Cameron nets the opening goal past Robbie Mutch

“There has to be a lot of change and I have spoken to a lot of people about the situation.

“When I came in their was a negative energy and a real feeling of anger and lack of confidence mid-season which is a very hard thing to rectify.

“If you get through that you can get to the next phase and build the culture that you want to build.

“After that you can make a real good team and enjoy coaching, but at the moment it isn’t that enjoyable because the steps we make forward are so little and insignificant.”

On the injury front, Paul Watson was on crutches while loanee Jevon Mills wasn’t anywhere to be seen on Saturday.

That saw Brad McKay partner the lesser-seen Paul Dixon at centre back – who gave away the second half spot kick on the day.

Aidan Nesbitt shoots in the first half

At full-back Ryan Williamson and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair looked flat and offered nothing going forward and struggled to assist a poor defensive pairing.

He said of the clubs injury crisis: “I think Paul and Jevon together were a really good partnership and we had barely given away any chances in the last few games.

“Hull City want to have a look a Jevon so we don’t know what will happen with him yet.

“For Paul we will need to wait a few days to see how it settles down.

“We’ve lost Anton Dowds and Callumn Morrison so we’ve missed out on key players.

“Anton should be back this week hopefully which is good and he could be available for the next match.”

With recent signing Finlay Malcolm making the bench, Rennie said the ex-academy player is type of character the Bairns need in the side.

He also responded to the fans reaction at full time as he said he understood the anger inside the ground.

“I really do think the fans have supported us and me well in the time I’ve been here,” he said.

“Finlay is someone who knows about the club more than most players and that is what we want here.

“We’ve lost that overtime for sure over the past couple of years.

“People who have came through the academy and understand the club are what we need here to be successful.

“That’s the first player we’ve been able to get back like that.

“Signings like that will be a big part of the future of the club.

“Falkirk over the years really did give young players a chance and having them resonate with the fans was key.”