Finn Harps captain Kevin McHugh believes the team needs to adopt a ‘back to basics’ approach if they are to put a halt to a losing run that has seen them go three matches without a point.
On Friday night, Harps travel to take on Wexford Youths seeking a confidence-boosting victory. McHugh insists that despite their recent problems, the Ballybofey club are more than capable of picking up the three points.
“People thought we’d beat Mervue and even against Athlone at the weekend, we were expected to win as well,” he said. “So maybe now that we’re away from home against Wexford, people won’t be expecting us to win. We’ve got to start improving our home form - we’re dropping too many points at Finn park.
“The way it’s been going this season, this weekend’s match is the kind of game we’ll end up winning.
“It’s frustrating,” McHugh added. “If myself and Blain (Curtis) had taken the chances that came our way in the first half down in Mervue, the result might well have been different. But we went chasing the game when we were 1-0 down and ended up losing by three.”
After Saturday night’s home defeat to Athlone, the Killea man says he and his team-mates now need to regroup and focus on bringing an end to their losing streak.
“It’s back to basics now,” he said. “That’s the way we’ve got to approach things. In fairness, we’d a good, hard training session on Monday night and that’s what we needed after Saturday night.
“We’ve been giving away bad goals but it would be too easy just to blame our defence for that. We’ve all got to take responsibility. You defend from the front and we’ve all got to try and lift ourselves and start focusing on getting a win.
“The manager made changes on Saturday night but once again, too many players just didn’t play well enough. We can’t really afford for that to happen.”
While Wexford Youths lie fourth in the table, they have lost four of their 10 games - although they did beat Harps 1-0 when the sides met at Finn Park back in March.
Amazingly, Harps haven’t recorded a single draw in any of their 10games to date - winning four and losing six.
“It’s been crazy this season,” Kevin McHugh pointed out. “We played Limerick at home needing a win to go joint top of the table. Three weeks later, we’ve lost three in a row and we’re now third from bottom.”
Just what changes, if any, Felix Healy implements this weekend remain to be seen. Thomas McBride, suspended for the last two games following his dismissal against Limerick, will be expected to reclaim his place in centre midfield.
Ciaran Coll is a major doubt having been forced off late in the game against Athlone because of a leg injury. Goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher is back in training but may need a couple of weeks before making his return to competitive action.