Scunthorpe United: Players need to start giving extra one per cent, says Mark Duffy
Winger Mark Duffy believes the best way for Scunthorpe United's players to turn their form around is to match their manager when it comes to effort.
The Iron go into Saturday's game against Brentford having dropped into the bottom four following three defeats in a row.
Duffy says their position is no reflection of the quality in the Scunthorpe dressing room, but that talent must be backed up by toil – something, he adds, boss Alan Knill does plenty of.
"I think it is down to working harder, that's what the gaffer's asked for more of," said the 26-year-old.
LOOKING FOR A NEW KITCHEN - BATHROOM - BEDROOM ???View details
When you seen the rest - come on down to the best - let us help you plan and design your dream home - we have a beautiful showroom and offer a full design and fitting service. 10% Off with voucher
Terms: Voucher to be presented in showroom
Contact: 01472 802418
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"We're not working hard enough, we're not going that extra one per cent. Once we do start doing that, the quality then will come out after 20 or 30 minutes in the game.
"We just need to roll our sleeves up and work that little bit harder.
"It's just disappointing, that's the worst thing. When I look round that dressing room, the players there are a lot better than where we are.
"I only had to look at that Stevenage team (in last Saturday's 1-0 defeat) and I wouldn't swap many of their players for ours.
"When I look at the league, look at our players and their team, you think, 'how are they there (second) and we're there?'. It's just unbelievable.
"It is just down to hard work where they are because, no disrespect to them, the quality they've got is not better than what we've got."
Results have increased the calls for manager Knill's head in recent weeks, but Duffy adds the players cannot be absolved of all blame.
"The gaffer does pick the team but after he picks that team on a Friday there's not much else he can do; it's down to the players at the end of the day," he said,
"You can have anyone here, if players aren't performing then any manager in the world isn't going to be able to change it round.
"The gaffer prepares us well week in, week out. He goes through set-pieces, DVDs, he goes and watches the other teams… I don't think there's a manager in the league who does as much as what the gaffer, Brassy and Cuts (assistant manager Chris Brass and goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler) do.
"A million per cent, it's not down to lack of effort or what they're trying to do, it is just simply down to errors at key times and basic mistakes.
"It's down to the team to pull our socks up.
"The gaffer says he's getting fed up of saying the same things to us. He's been in the game a long time, so he's trying to just pass on his knowledge to us. If people aren't taking it in it's their own fault really and they won't get better from it.
"He has said that to all of us, he's here to help and we need to take his information on board and do things right."
According to Duffy, that includes remaining 100 per cent focused at all times.
Getting the first goal is crucial; but ensuring United do not then lapse back into bad habits is vital.
"I think it's just lack of concentration sometimes," assessed the midfielder.
"Sometimes when you're in the game and we're cruising through the game, it still might be 0-0 but we are cruising through it, and people just take it for granted and just switch off.
"Next thing we know, the ball's in the back of the net.
"Once you go a goal down in this league it's tough to get one back. That's when we go at teams and it leaves us open then to the counter-attack.
"It is difficult and the gaffer does say the first goal is massive for us.
"I think in a lot of games over the last couple of weeks we've taken the lead, then in the second half we've come out for some reason and gone long. We've stopped doing what we're good at, the pass-and-move and all of a sudden we've just gone long.
"We don't know why we have done that, it's just weird really.
"We sort of seem to panic. We go long and we're just giving possession back to them and that's when the momentum builds for the other team.
"Maybe we start feeling the pressure of the team coming on to us. You're just trying to hold on because we all want to win.
"We know it's difficult at the moment because our home form's again not good. We just want to win at home, so you're desperately trying to hold on for the 1-0.
"Obviously when the other team then scores, the momentum swings with them."