'Worst second half' for Gary Naysmith leaves Edinburgh City play-off hopes dangling

Gary Naysmith couldn't hide his anger as he watched his Edinburgh City side turn in a stale second-half display that leaves their promotion hopes hanging by a thread.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 10:51 pm
Edinburgh manager Gary Naysmith was not impressed by the second half of the  League One play-off  final first leg against Dumbarton  at Ainslie Park. (Photo by Euan Cherry / SNS Group)
Edinburgh manager Gary Naysmith was not impressed by the second half of the League One play-off final first leg against Dumbarton at Ainslie Park. (Photo by Euan Cherry / SNS Group)

Despite leading Dumbarton 1-0 at the break courtesy of a Robbie McIntyre strike, the Citizens lost three second-half goals to put Jim Duffy's side firmly in the driving seat ahead of Thursday's second leg at the Rock.

And boss Naysmith was critical of his players' application for what he branded the worst 45 minutes he's experienced since taking over the City hotseat from James McDonaugh in March.

"That second half was the worst we've played since I've come to the club," he said. "I'm frustrated and angry because for what was at stake the second half wasn't unacceptable and I include myself in that.

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Ryan McGeever equalises for Dumbarton. (Photo by Euan Cherry / SNS Group)

"It was a game of two halves. We did a lot of good things in the first half. I told the guys at half-time we needed to be better with our final ball but in the second half we just never turned up. I don't think Dumbarton were anything great, they just done the ugly side of the game better than us. Unfortunately for us we never left the changing room at half-time.

"It would be wrong of me to just sweep that second-half performance under the carpet so they had to be told what was wrong. We must do better or we're not going to give ourselves a chance on Thursday. It's vital we get the first goal and if we can do that at any stage of the game then Dumbarton will become nervy.

"It's a horrible situation to be in because you know you're two goals behind but if you lose a goal then you're three behind and tie is probably over.

"But you have to tell the players it's not acceptable. It can't just be praise, praise, praise all the time. I was brought up with Jim Jefferies at Hearts so when you don't do something well you are told."

The return leg at the C&G Systems Stadium, is on Thursday evening, kick off 7.35pm.

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