Campbell left speechless after Ayr defeat

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Dick Campbell was lost for words after his side went down to a miserable 1-0 defeat to Ayr United on Saturday.

Jordan Preston’s first half goal was enough to ensure victory for the Honest Men - and send Forfar Athletic down to fourth in the League One table.

I don’t think these four games will define the season, because we’ve had a great season. It won’t define the season if we go up or if we don’t.

Dick Campbell

The day’s results couldn’t have been worse for the Loons as Stranraer, Greenock Morton and Brechin City all claimed victories.

Campbell said his side just weren’t good enough to win the game after an abject display.

He told the Dispatch and Herald: “For 27 minutes we were well in control of the game, then they go up the park for the first time and they score.

“We just never recovered from it. We were totally in control and never had a shot on goals. We started the game well, we prepared well.”

Dick said he’s been disappointed with the performances for a few games now, with the 1-0 win over Dunfermline Athletic a week ago one of few highlights.

The Ayr loss - the second time Forfar have tasted defeat at Somerset Park this season - gives Forfar four wins and four defeats in their last eight games.

Campbell continued: “I’m really disappointed the way the last two or three weeks have went, we beat Dunfermline and I thought 1-0 really flattered them.

“I’m not going to get too downhearted. We’ve got a massive few weeks in front of us.”

This Saturday’s visit of Greenock Morton begins a spell where the Loons play all their title rivals in quick succession, with Stranraer visiting Station Park a week on Saturday - after a trip to Balmoor Park - before a derby Glebe Park on March 21.

The manager admits the run of games is a big one but said they won’t define his side’s season if they go against them, because the club have already enjoyed a phenomenal year.

He added: “I don’t think these four games will define the season, because we’ve had a great season. It won’t define the season if we go up or if we don’t.

“The statistics are there, there are 26 games played and there’s only once in the whole season we’ve been out of the top three, which is now, and there’s only been three times we’ve been out of the top two.

“We’ve had a phenomenal season.”

It’s been a turnaround in home and away form this year compared to that of last season, and Campbell said he thinks it’s perhaps a mentality issue that’s stopping his team putting opponents to the sword on the road like they do so ruthlessly at Station Park.

Dick said: “It was opposite last year, our away form was excellent and our home form was poor. You can’t put your hand on it.

“I think it’s a mentality thing but we’ve got to get something this week at Morton.”

Two players who look set to miss that tie with Morton are skipper Gavin Swankie and defender Iain Campbell.

Swankie limped off at the interval during the Ayr game while Campbell didn’t finish the fixture, and the manager admitted the pair will struggle to make the squad.

The boss added: “They look bad, those two look as though they’ll really struggle this week.”