JIM Duffy admits Morton’s loss of form couldn’t have come at a worse time as they hobble towards the Ladbrokes Championship promotion play-offs.
Duffy watched as his side stumbled to a 2-0 defeat against Raith Rovers on Saturday, their sixth game in a row without maximum points.
And the boss says his side are bereft of confidence and need to find it soon in order to make a fist of the play-offs — if they can finally get there.
He said: “Of course [the downturn in form] is happening at the wrong time. The players have put in an enormous amount of work in, but we’ve got to put it into perspective as well.
"If someone had said at the beginning of the season, ‘listen, you’ll be eight points ahead of the next placed team with three games to go’, you’d have taken it all day long.
“So we’re still in a good position. But the form has definitely dipped quite considerably over the last month or so, not just today or midweek.
“The last month we’ve been just hanging on in there and trying to grind results out and we’re not at our best.
“We need to calm everybody down a little bit, try and get a bit of belief back into the players.
“If we can do that, maybe the results will turn for us.”
Ton cracked the post three times in Kirkcaldy, and the game seemed proof of the old truth that when you’re not in the best of form, things won’t go your way.
And Duff reckons his side were desperately unlucky not to come away with anything — because goalkeeper Derek Gaston had one of the quietest games of his season, despite picking the ball out of his net twice.
He said: “I think it was a difficult result for us, of course it is, if you lose the game.
“But over the course of 90 minutes I don’t think there was much at all in it.
“We hit the woodwork three times and I think when you’re not playing at your best and you’re not at your most confident, you tend to find that these things go against you.
“I’m not saying it was all down to bad luck, of course not, but when you need a wee break to try and kick start the confidence back into the players again, sometimes it just doesn’t go for you.”
Duffy added: “I think that was the case today, you look at it and I don’t remember Derek Gaston having a single solitary save to make.
“I’m not saying their goalkeeper had a load of saves to make but we’ve hit the woodwork three times and it was just one of those games where we’re searching for confidence and there’s a little bit of anxiety in the players just now.
“They’re anxious and they’re rushing things and that can happen at any level of football.
“We’re seeing it happen to us just now and it makes it difficult to try and get positive results.”