Dundee United striker refuses to dwell any longer on Ayr de­feat

Safranko anx­ious to bounce back from worst de­feat of pro­fes­sional ca­reer

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - SPORT - by Ian Roache [email protected]­courier.co.uk

It was the worst loss since his school days but Pavol Safranko doesn’t want to waste any more time dwelling on that de­feat.

The Dundee United striker and his trau­ma­tised team-mates have been chal­lenged by man­ager Rob­bie Neil­son to “dig it out” against Mor­ton to­day or risk their sea­son head­ing on a down­ward spi­ral.

The Tan­ger­ines were left bat­tered and bruised by their 5-0 beat­ing from Cham­pi­onship lead­ers Ayr United at home eight days ago.

They have spent the time since that Fri­day night hor­ror show pre­par­ing to bounce back against the Greenock men this af­ter­noon.

If they can leave Cap­pielow with three points all the talk will be about how they showed strength of char­ac­ter, and the Ayr de­ba­cle might be­gin to look an iso­lated in­ci­dent.

If they crum­ble again they will ap­pear se­ri­ously wounded by that Tan­nadice thrash­ing, and the sea­son will look like an as­sault course to be en­dured rather than a ti­tle race to rel­ish.

Safranko, who be­fore that match had been en­joy­ing an ex­cel­lent time un­der Neil­son’s man­age­ment, ad­mit­ted the pain of eight days ago was con­sid­er­able.

How­ever, he knows it is now all about what hap­pens against Mor­ton this af­ter­noon.

The Slo­vakian front­man said: “There was the 5-1 loss here to Ross County and I suf­fered a 4-0 in Den­mark (against FC Copen­hagen in July), but I have ex­pe­ri­enced noth­ing like that as a se­nior player.

“Maybe when I was 15 but not as an adult pro­fes­sional.

“I tried to be at my best on Fri­day night but I was not.

“It wasn’t a good per­for­mance but we can learn from it. I am sure we will.

“We have had to re­cover quickly be­cause we must look for­ward to our next game.

“My an­swer to this dis­ap­point­ment has been to work hard and be ready for Mor­ton.

“We are just hu­man so it is dif­fi­cult. “We have all spo­ken with the coach and he has told us that we have to just fo­cus now on this game.

“He has given us good tac­tics for ev­ery game and I am sure that will be the case again this time.

“This match is now more im­por­tant than the one we lost against Ayr.

“Some­times you have games like that one.

“What I can say is that 5-0 was way too much.

“Now we now have to look to win a se­ries of matches and then we can for­get the last one.”

Safranko, who is the Tan­ger­ines’ top scorer with seven goals this sea­son, be­lieves there is still plenty time for United to get their pro­mo­tion bid back on track.

He said: “There is no choice but to be pos­i­tive.”

He added: “You can’t be to­tally neg­a­tive even when you have such a big dis­ap­point­ment as we did last Fri­day. “We can’t find ex­cuses for bad re­sults. “We have to bounce back im­me­di­ately,” he said.

“There are still 21 games left of the reg­u­lar sea­son so we have time to re­cover.”

Pic­ture: SNS.

Neil­son will hope Safranko can help United bounce back.

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