Csaba Laszlo believes 10 minutes per game has been the difference between success and failure in Dundee United’s Betfred Cup campaign.
That’s why the Tangerines are heading for Elgin on Saturday for what is a dead rubber.
However, he’s seen enough from his team in the other 240 minutes of their group games to remain confident a successful league campaign lies ahead.
“Unfortunately, a football match is 90 minutes. If we’d played 80 minutes we are the winners,” he said.
“It sounds stupid but true. Against Arbroath, after 82 minutes if we put the ball out we keep one zero but we don’t and lose a goal.
“In the next game (Ross County), for 80 minutes we made a good game and if we score from our penalty we win. We don’t score from the penalty, then they score and win but we had played a good game.
“Then we controlled the game against Alloa but lost a goal, again in the last 10 minutes. So people say we are a bad team. We are not and not everything has been bad.”
While he’s confident United will show that in the months ahead, Csaba doesn’t hide his frustration over being out of the Betfred.
“We created pressure for the club, for the management, for the players and from the fans.
“And we lost a lot of money, let’s be honest. So, I am really unhappy, but I can’t turn this back.
“We have to do better. When we have 10 minutes to go and we are in the front, we have to win the game.”
Any pressure the past three games has put on him does not, he’s stressed, match the pressure he puts on himself for every outing.
“I always have pressure because when we lose I think why did we. For me, there is always the pressure that this is not OK. I think about it all the time and we have to find the solution tactically.”
For the manager, that solution lies in getting the right mix between the passing style he prefers and a more direct Scottish approach.
“Some people tell me I play too much continental football, we have to play Scottish football, kick the ball more off the front.
“We’ll mix, keep the ball down and try to kick the long ball as well but just the long balls won’t be enough.
“With Craig Curran injured we have had to use Paul McMullan as a No 9, up beside Nicky Clark sometimes. Paul is more of a winger and we cannot give him high balls and expect him to win headers.”