Coughlin: ‘We need to be firing in attack too’

CoughJohn Coughlin bemoaned not converting a superior amount of possession into clear cut chances against Annan Athletic on Saturday as the ‘Gers made it 11 consecutive games without a win at Galabank.

Matty Flynn’s 83rd minute strike was enough to separate the sides in a closely fought affair, with Coughlin calling it a ‘carbon copy’ of his first proper game in charge back in November when Stuart McColm netted nine minutes from time.

“I think stats will say we had about 61% of the possession which, for an away team, is a hell of a lot,” said Coughlin. “It was total domination of the ball for us but unfortunately the only stat that counts at the end of 90 minutes is the scoreline. I’d much rather have been in the away dressing room having played poorly but got the three points to be honest.

“And although we can take a lot of positives from the performance in terms of the way we passed the ball and got it wide, for the amount of the ball that we had we didn’t create enough chances so the big disappointment for me was the lack of threat.”

Flynn’s goal brought to an end a run of 526 minutes without conceding for the ‘Gers, and while Coughlin acknowledged the progress that’s been made on the defensive front, he was keen to stress the importance at the other end if the team wants to ensure their safety at the earliest possible opportunity.

“We’ve come on leaps and bounds and everybody knows that they’re not going to get an easy game when they play us,” he added. “But we’ve got to be firing on all cylinders in attack too. It’s nice having clean sheets, I’ll be the first person to say that, but equally we want to be winning football matches and we shouldn’t have to be looking over our shoulder at this stage of the season.

“We gave ourselves a nice cushion and I think another one or two wins will take away the threat of finishing bottom. It was in our hands to widen the gap further on Saturday but we let it slip, so we’ll move on to next week and hopefully we can get that part of the job done as soon as possible.”

By Martin Inglis