Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn has admitted his team is still a work in progress after Saturday’s sickener in Stranraer.
The Kirkcaldy side looked set to continue their winning start to the league campaign having recovered from a goal down at half-time to lead the game 2-1.
However, the loss of two goals in the final seven minutes meant Rovers left Stair Park with nothing, allowing Falkirk to leapfrog them to the top of the table.
McGlynn believes game management was to blame, and says his players must learn to shut up shop when in winning positions away from home.
“We’ve got to defend better as a team,” he stressed.
“Instead of trying to win 3, 4, 5-1, we probably need to look at a situation away from home where we’re 2-1 up and we try to lock the back door. We’d much rather come away with a 2-1 win, than nothing.
“We’re trying to play an expansive game with a good style to win football matches and be what people want to come and watch.
“We try to press high and play at a high tempo, and we’re very good when that clicks.
“From having a setback and losing the first goal, to re-establishing ourselves and getting into a situation where we’re in front and in control, we’re not a million miles away.
“We just need to tweak the end part of the game that let us down – concentration, game management and recognising on the pitch that we’re 2-1 up with not a lot of time to go.
“And instead of going chasing the ball, we just need to keep a good shape, it becomes a 4-5-1 instead of a 4-3-3, and we make ourselves hard to beat.”
While the circumstances of Saturday’s defeat harked back to last season’s troubles on the road, McGlynn saw enough positives to suggest it will not become another regular occurrence.
“We HAVE got a good team – and one that got us into a great position on Saturday to be sitting at the top of the table with nine points,” he said.
“That’s where we found ourselves with seven minutes left, having went behind and doing so well to turn that into a dominant position, but our game management let us down in the end, unfortunately.
“It’s a new team, and that’s where we need to improve.
“Yes, there’s players from last season, but it’s still a different team finding themselves in these situations, and we’re a work in progress.”
A more encouraging aspect of the opening three league games is that seven different players have found the net thus far.
“That’s the big thing,” McGlynn said. “We’ve now got goals coming from every area of the pitch, and we want that to continue.
“That’s what I was hoping was going to happen, but we’re still looking for someone like Lewis Allan to be the prominent one and get a right good few goals over the season.
“There’s lots of positives and you can see the quality is there, and when we get Lewis Vaughan and Tony Dingwall back it could be exactly what we’re needing just to set the thing totally alight.”
Rovers host Montrose on Saturday and defender Fernandy Mendy is expected to return to the squad after completing 90 minutes in the Fife Cup on Tuesday.
Former Brechin and Dumbarton striker Boris Melingui also featured in midweek, and could be listed as a trialist for the second league match running following his late sub appearance in Stranraer.