John Baird understands fans frustrations as Caley Thistle slump continues
A FRUSTRATED John Baird has warned his team-mates it is up to them to givethe Caley Thistle faithful something to shout about.
Boos from the stands ushered the players off the pitch in the 3-1 defeatto Livingston on Saturday, as the mood took a sour turn on home soil.
Understandably, the fanbase has had little to shout about of late anddirected their anger on the players at the final whistle.
Individual players were also jeered, Baird and Mark Ridgers being two ofthem, but the former Falkirk striker understands the frustrations.
“Us as players need to get supporters going – it’s not up to them to getus going. If you perform on the park they’ll be easier on the players,”said Baird. “I can totally understand their frustration. This is a teamthat won the Scottish Cup and played in Europe over the last couple ofyears and now we’re producing what we’re producing. It’s not good enough.
“We’ve got aspirations to be at the top end of the table but you can’thave them if you don’t win your home games on a Saturday.
“We’ve played three games and drew one – it’s not good enough. We cansay we’re going to do this or that but it’s only actions on the parkthat determine where we’re going to end up.”
The game was grimly predictable, in that it followed the theme of CaleyThistle dominating the ball without doing any great damage. A defenceclearly lacking in cohesion was always likely to make it a ropeyafternoon for those in the stands and so it proved, with three cheapgoals given away.
This theme occurred at times last season under Richie Foran and Bairdsaid it needs to be ended, given that the Caley Jags will likelydominate a lot of games this season.
“I’d be surprised if we didn’t dominate most games at home. Teams aregoing to come and sit in and hit us on the counter,” he said.
“If you look at the games we’ve won this year, we can’t keep sayingwe’re dominating games and not winning. Anytime we’ve come up againstanyone in the league we’ve not won, that’s no disrespect to Brechin butI don’t think they’ll be anywhere near even the playoff spot.
“We’ve not stamped our authority on the league yet. The good thing isit’s only six games in but if we don’t start moving we’re going to be introuble.”
Baird was at pains to point out it was a team-wide problem conceding thegoals they are. The Caley Jags have now shipped 14 goals – thejoint-worst defensive record with Brechin City.
“If we’re losing the goals we’re losing as a team, it’s very difficultto win games. I’ve had a chance in the first 40 seconds and it ends uphaving a bearing on the game,” he added.
John Robertson bemoaned the difference between training and match-dayperformances, with a reluctance to pull the trigger creeping in whenthey play competitively. He labelled it trying to score an “Arsenalgoal”, instead of smashing the ball in as they would do during the week.
“There should be more than enough for us to get results,” said Baird.“Monday to Friday is just as important that we apply ourselves intraining to sort it, as it is on doing the business on a Saturday.
“It’s decision-making on the park. Maybe they’re trying to give someonean easier opportunity. It’s not really going to get the right noises ifyou play someone in to get a better chance.
“I’ve not been in a situation like this for a good few years and itneeds sorted.”
Robertson promised to make a raft of changes for the visit to Dumbartonnext week, after claiming he had given players enough time to bedthemselves in.
He also criticised George Oakley and Jake Mulraney indirectly for theirlack of influence on the game.
“You’re asking substitutes to go on and make an impact,” he said. “CarlTremarco got up and down the line like we asked but the other two barelyregistered a touch.
“These are the guys that are knocking the door asking why they’re not inthe team and when they go on, they show you nothing.”