Dundee United striker Pavol Safranko cut a frustrated figure reliving Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Morton and admits they need to do more to rediscover their best form and top the table.
The Slovakian striker has been praised this season for his contribution both on and off the ball – he has netted seven times in all competitions and covers plenty ground for his side – however, he feels he and his team-mates need to do more to get results than just play nice football.
Freddy Frans’ headed opener after 31 minutes wasn’t enough at Cappielow at the weekend as Gregor Buchanan nodded home an equaliser into an empty with 12 minutes to go and, although upset he couldn’t add to his tally of goals to get the three points for the Terrors, Safranko knows the whole team needs to work harder and show their true qualities and grind out results.
“We can do better, we have to do better,” he said.
“I think we always look to ourselves but our performance must be better.
“Even when we concede a goal we still have all this quality and power in our team to go up but we just have to take a long, hard look in the mirror now and work hard and we will be back.
“Morton tried and they worked hard, but like I said, we have the quality to be successful in the game but I can say that we are really disappointed.”
The 24-year-old has been happy to make a good start to life at Tannadice, scoring goals and becoming a fans’ favourite but also concedes the whole squad is hurting after failing to close the gap more on leaders Ayr United at the top of the Championship.
Dropping two points in Greenock, after Ross County drew with Queen of the South and Ayr saw their clash with Inverness postponed, feels like a loss and a chance missed for the Tangerines but Safranko insists their ambitions are unwavering as they prepare for a trip to face Caley Thistle in the Highlands on Saturday.
“It’s not a step back in our ambitions to win the league but we have to be careful and be ready for every game,” he added.
“We can’t find any excuses going up to Inverness or at Morton, we have to just go there and put our 100% in.
“Everyone has to show their best and, hopefully, after that we can win.
“I have enjoyed my time here playing and scoring goals but, like the rest of the team, I want to be better for every game, that’s all I can say.”
United boss Robbie Neilson echoed his star striker’s sentiments, expressing his anger at his side not being able to break down Morton nor hold onto their lead and see the result out.
He said: “We got the goal and probably could’ve got more but in the second half we got caught up in the direct game.
“They went direct into the striker and played off of that but we lacked the composure to bring the ball down and pass it that got us the success in the first half.
“We could have won it with some chances late on but it should have been put to bed by then
“We shouldn’t need to do that at the end and we should’ve killed the game earlier but also we should be able to hold onto a 1-0 lead.
“We know playing against Morton they’ve got good delivery with Michael Tidser and have got big centre-halves that can come up so we know we shouldn’t be giving free-kicks away round about the box.
“We gave away a schoolboy free-kick, Chris Millar’s out on the touchline with nowhere to go and two guys roundabout him but we steamroller into the back of him.”