After any derby defeat, it always feels as if the world has collapsed around you. However, on our second-half showing I felt we perhaps deserved a draw, although I also thought that was the best we could get.
We never looked like scoring, to be frank. The players put in enough effort, but there was no cutting edge to give us a chance to win the match.
We missed certain players badly. Without Marvin Bartley or Mark Milligan, we lacked a presence in the middle of the park where Peter Haring and Arnaud Djoum bossed the game, while the loss of Martin Boyle’s pace and directness was obvious.
Of course, the manager can only use the players available and we had quite a number out injured and the three away with Australia, but even so, I think it’s starting to show that we need reinforcements during this transfer window. The squad looks a little bare and we’ve struggled with injuries throughout the season.
We always knew we couldn’t lose players like John McGinn, Dylan McGeouch and Scott Allan and expect things to continue as they had been. That was impossible. Finding replacements was always going to be a tall order but I feel some of those who have been brought in have come to a club where expectations are much higher than they’ve been used to and it shows.
You can’t just throw in three or four players from the development squad and expect them to perform week in, week out. It can only badly hurt their confidence.
It’s difficult to bring in players of the calibre of those we’ve lost, but I don’t think you can expect things to always be on the upward curve we’ve enjoyed in recent seasons. Sometimes you reach a plateau, take time to draw breath and decide where do you go from here.
But somewhere along the line you need to bring in quality if you are to take that next step forward as at the moment we are falling short of where we believe we should be.
To my mind we need a good quality striker as we are obviously short up front and another midfielder.