Institute manager John Quigg admits his side need to cut out the mistakes ahead of the new season or, just like on Saturday at Coleraine, they will get punished.
The Waterside men suffered a heavy 4-0 loss at the Showgrounds and Quigg has warned his players they need to be better focused when the season gets underway in a few weeks time at champions, Linfield.
“We started with three at the back and I thought that would be our strongest team but after 90 seconds one ball over the top caught us and we were 1-0 down, so we changed it straight away,” he explained.
“To be fair to Coleraine, every chance they got they punished us. We made a couple of mistakes and at this standard, if you make mistakes you’ll get punished. We counted four one-on-ones that we had and we never scored; four one on one against Coleraine at their place!
“In second half, when it was 1-0, I thought we were the better team and had we taken one of the chances we created, we would have got back in it.
“Again, however, we conceded bad goals and continued to miss chances. We need to start taking those chances and cut out those mistakes before the season starts.
“We are going to have to work on off-the-ball stuff because we looked very open. We play lovely, attractive football but attractive football might not keep you in the Premiership.
“I have been here three or four months and even last year, when I was going to watch them, they won 6-4, drew 3-3 a few times, so that means you have to score four or five goals to win a game and that can’t continue.
“We are never going to be able to do that. We’ll get back to the drawing board and maybe for the Glengad on Tuesday, we’ll go with a Plan B which will again still be about trying to play but also going a bit back to front quicker.”
Quigg is adamant he wants his ’Stute side to start concentrating on keeping clean-sheets.
“You saw the experience there with (Steven) Douglast and Stephen O’Donnell, they made a mistake in the first half when (Gareth) Brown got in and that was it. Bang, the game was closed off and they never gave another chance away. We had to work other chances and we did brilliantly at that but as far as defending goes, we need to get back to basics.
“We need to start keeping clean-sheets and maybe that means changing shape or getting back to telling people their roles within the team.
“This expansive football is great but we aren’t Barcelona or Brazil so it’s a slap on the jaw for me, (Sean) Friars, Paul (McLaughlin) and Scolty (Mark Scoltock) but football wise, I feel we’ll give anyone a game. It’s the off the ball stuff that we really need to work hard at, that’s the bottom line.”
Quigg was pleased that recent signing Niall Grace got more minutes under his belt and also conceded they missed out Ruairi Harkin, who is expected to sign for Finn Harps.
“Niall got more game time, which is good and he’ll be grand. Tommy (McBride) also did well and big (Aaron) Jarvis playing at the back is a class act.
“However, I told the boys after the game that we can’t keep making stupid mistakes and expect to win matches.”