Jim Duffy has lifted the lid on the trials he’s faced in his three months as Dumbarton boss, revealing it has been even tougher than he anticipated.

The 59-year-old took over the Sons hot seat back in October after the club parted ways with Stevie Aitken with the hopes of guiding them to League One safety.

Dumbarton’s injury list, the reason behind Aitken’s downfall, was already quite lengthy when Duffy took over before things went from bad to worse with the new boss struggling to field a starting XI.

Duffy has been able to lift Dumbarton off the foot of the table and three points clear of Stenhousemuir at the bottom but he knows himself that three wins and two draws in his first 12 matches is not good enough.

“It’s been tough since I’ve been here, there’s no doubt about that,” Duffy told the Reporter. “When I first took the job, I thought some of the players out injured would have been back sooner but that’s not been the case - the squad got even thinner after I came in. It’s been a lot tougher than I anticipated but you just have to accept that and work as well as you can with what you’ve got.

“I’m not shying away from the fact that we’ve still got to try and be better and that’s we’re going to try and do for the remaining 15 games.”

With the majority of League One clubs in Scottish Cup action, Dumbarton had a weekend off as they get set for the vital clash with Montrose this weekend.

Sons have lost three players since their last match with captain Andy Dowie retiring and being followed out the door by Brad Spencer and Jamie McGowan.

And Duffy has been working away tirelessly as he looks to bring in fresh faces to hand his depleted squad a much-needed boost before the visit of the Gable Endies on Saturday.

He said: “We’ve been working away behind the scenes. There’s been mitigating circumstances with other clubs that has been frustrating. We had two players agree to come in last week. One boy got injured and the other one stayed with Dunfermline as they had a new manager come in.

“I am still confident we’ll have new players in before our next game against Montrose this weekend, though. We’ll be working toward that this week now.”