Weir urges defenders to get back to basics

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BRECHIN City manager Jim Weir has urged his defenders to get “back to basics” following the two-two draw at Alloa Athletic on Saturday.

The City gaffer was concerned, once again, at the manner in which his side lost two goals at Recreation Park and said that his players needed to “start taking responsibility for their decision making.”

Weir said: “To lose the goals the way we did is so frustrating for us just now.

“We have gone from having the best defensive record in the league to losing goals that we simply didn’t look like losing at the beginning of the season.

“It’s very alarming. I thought we allowed Bryan Prunty too much space for a shot at Craig Nelson and I did feel Craig could have come off his line quicker for the cross initially into the box.

“However, some of the people in front of Craig need to take more responsibility too. Nobody is taking responsibility and that is happening far too often just now its frightening.

“For the loss of the second goal, Paul McLean runs away from his defensive duties to run up the park.

“Some of Paul’s decision-making of late hasn’t pleased me at all. That decision left us short at the back.

“Andy Cook should have been having a go at the time and telling him to get back. However, Paul’s decision to head up the park cost us.

“As a back four we are so quiet and that’s why we are losing goals just now.

“Full-backs and central defenders aren’t talking to one another nearly enough. They need to start putting demands on each other, because we simply can’t keep on losing goals.”

The manager said he was delighted with the start Brechin had to the game at Alloa.

“I actually thought we could go on and win the game comfortably after we had scored.

“The problem we have at the moment is we are fragile defensively and we are contributing to our own downfall. Somewhere along the line the penny has to drop with the players. I have to be honest, if our squad was bigger I would have freshened things up before now.”

Weir also felt his side didn’t do enough in the latter stages of the game, having done well to fight back into it.

“There is something totally missing at the moment and the cup is sort of masking it for me,” he commented as Brechin prepared to head for St. Johnstone for their Scottish Cup quarter-final replay at MacDiarmid Park on Tuesday evening (last night).

Brechin were going into the game with concerns over the fitness of Jamie Redman and Gerry McLaughlan.

“Gerry obviously got hauled out of the warm up on Saturday after feeling his hamstring,” said the manager. “Redman is struggling with his back. We were also hoping to speak to Craig Brown to see if we could play Mitch Megginson, just so we had everybody available.”

Ahead of the match, and readers will know the score by now, Weir commented: “If the first job was tough, this one is even tougher. It’s great that we will have around a dozen supporters’ buses at the game, which I think for a place the size of Brechin is a phenomenal response, given that the game is live on television.”

“We just want to come out of the game with something to be proud of.” Hopefully that will have happened, whatever the end result.

Turning back to the SFL, Weir said consistency and improvements at the back are required.

He continued: “Above all, we need to finish as high as we can in this league.

“I don’t want any hard luck stories at the end of the season about what might have been or what could have been.

“I don’t think games being off have had that much affect. I think what you have to say has had more affect on our consistency is the loss of quality players like Callum Booth and Barry Smith at crucial times. We have been affected by that.

“We have to still kick on from where we have been.

“Since we played Livingston, six games have passed. They have taken 18 points and we have taken five.

“You can safely say we should have taken at least double that, but, if you defend poorly you can’t expect to score two or three goals every week to win a game.

“We have been working on the back four and we will continue working on them, because we have to put a stop to this loss of silly goals.”

On Saturday, City welcome Dumbarton back to Glebe Park, a week or two after the teams shared a six-goal thriller at the Glebe.