One Year On

In the week that Jim Duffy marks his first year in post, and following his appointment to the Board, he spoke to the official website…

“I arrived at the club last February and when I first came in it was about working with that particular set of players and restoring respectability. I believe we achieved that, but those players left and we had to virtually bring in an entire new squad, so in truth we are at the very early stages of rebuilding. This isn’t going to be a 4 or 5 month job, it’s a project for a minimum of 2 or 3 years.

“I do appreciate fans want results as quickly as possible but it’s not just about restructuring the club financially off the park. The club needs to be built on the park, by getting a structure in place that can develop players. There is no quick remedy or substitute for planning and hard work. We need to be in a position where, throughout the club, players can progress through the ranks and eventually get into the first team squad. That won’t happen overnight but we need to develop this philosophy so that more of our younger players – as well as learning the technical side of the game – achieve greater game awareness so when the time comes they are ready to compete for a first team place.

“The side has been extremely young this year. With the exception of Lee Sharp, the whole defence was under 21 and for a period we were beginning to see the guys gel into a solid unit. Felip, Gavin, Declan, Brian and Lee were a back 5 that were settled and consistent in performance. The loss of three of those players through injury in the space of a few days, and then the loss of Liam and Jordan, has been critical to our hopes this season.

“Alloa are without a doubt deservedly top of the division but I doubt even they could cope with the loss of 5 regular starting players as we have experienced. It was a massive blow.

“But, I recognise that this has also given others a chance. Iain Gray has been one of the few successes over the last few months, he was given an opportunity and has taken it and that has been a real encouragement. Michael Oliver is another, he came from amateur football and has done extremely well.

“I cannot deny it would be great to add but the money isn’t there to do that. I’m stating that not as a moan or as an excuse. I’m saying it to be to be honest with supporters. Some may wonder why such and such a player can go to such and such a club and not us. We simply don’t have the funds to do that at the moment but that doesn’t stop me asking and we will continue to do that and keep working away to see if we can bring someone in. We need to get a spark back. I know we should be doing better than we are at the moment.

“We recently tried to freshen up the squad and I spoke directly to some players and gave them the option to go. If they had accepted, that would have released the funds necessary to freshen up the squad but they have chosen not to and in some ways we have to take that as a compliment; those guys want to stay and fight for a place and want to be part of what we are trying to do here.

“We know where we are lacking. It’s in the final third where decision making has been poor and we haven’t been clinical. We lack consistency and need to improve our link up play from middle to front to create a threat to other teams. Positively, despite recent results, the atmosphere remains good but I recognise that it is for Chic and I to instil, as much as we can, greater confidence in the players.

“I do believe we have been much more competitive this year and even in the games where, in the end, there has been a bigger margin than a single goal we have been in amongst it for long periods. A few times teams have scored a quick double against us and when you are struggling to score goals that knocks the stuffing out of you. We’ve experienced that misfortune and paid the highest penalty for an individual error or a missed chance.

“Finally, make no mistake Chic and I will continue to work away to get things turned around and do what we can to progress year on year. In every role I undertake for Clyde the fans can be assured of my full commitment to achieving that goal.”