Dumbarton manager Jim Duffy admits his team is low on confidence after their poor start to the year continued with defeat at Montrose on Saturday.

The Links Park side ran out 2-1 winners with PJ Crossan netting Sons goal in added-time at the end of the second-half.

The Sons boss highlighted the injuries to Kyle Hutton and Joe McKee as part of the problem.

He said: “The attitude and commitment of the players has been fine.

“We had little moments in the game here and there but not a sustained period and part of that is because our two natural footballers in the middle of the pitch are not available so we’ve maybe got more energy in there but not the same calmness.

“I felt that Montrose were stronger in the key areas.

“We dealt with their front three, who gave us a load of problems at Dumbarton, pretty well for most of the game but we couldn’t really get our foot on the ball.

READ MORE: Montrose defeat leaves Sons without a win in seven matches

“We’re a bit short on confidence at the moment and that happens, so you start to rush things and clear the ball when maybe you can take the ball down and try make passes.

“We didn’t take care of the ball well enough and rushed everything. We have to calm down a little bit.”

Sons are set for three home fixtures in a row, starting with Forfar Athletic on Saturday.

The Loons currently occupy the relegation play-off spot in League One, and defeat for Dumbarton would drag them into a relegation fight.

And Duffy knows that it is a key part of the season coming up that will determine what kind of battle they will be involved in for the remainder. He said: “It’s an important spell of the season.

“Being at home, we’ve got to try and take the game to the opposition a little bit more.

“In this league there’s very little between all the teams. We’ve taken points from everyone. On our day we can match teams but there’s a combination of things with injuries and consistency.”

Read all the latest from Reporter Sport