Three things we learned about: the first half of the season

1) Stating the obvious is pure and simple

Dunfermline:

10.5 shots per game, 4.33 on target (189 S, 78 OT)
22 goals.
11.64% shot conversion.

Opponents:

10.38 shots per game, 4.38 on target (187 S, 79 OT)
29 goals.
15.50% shot conversion.

The Pars do not convert the chances they create. 17.5% and above is great, 15% falls in the good category and anything below 12.5% will likely a team struggling at the wrong end of the table.

On paper, at the stage of the season, Athletic should be aiming to have at least 27 goals which would have gave them a 14.28% conversion rate; in the ballpark of what you would want.

This problem is getting worse. In the first quarter, Dunfermline scored 12 times with a 13.33% conversion rate. During the reverse fixtures, the Pars found the net on 10 occasions, beating the keeper once every 10 shots.

Which brings me on to my second observation.

2) You make your own luck in life

Two penalties from eight awarded. Missing is not bad luck.

One of four outcomes can happen from a legally taking spot kick:

You score;
You strike the woodwork;
You knock it wide;
The goalkeeper saves.

Since the implementation of the Premier League in 1992, 1,887 penalties have been taken; 1,591 were scored (84.31%). This season all the other teams in the Championship have a 70% success rate (12/17).

Converting seven out of 10 would be the absolute minimum you would accept. Under the Johnston era in league competition the number stands at four out of 14 (28.57%). Two from eight in this campaign.

Missing a penalty is disappointing but understandable. Failing to convert on multiple occasions in separate games is nigh on unforgivable and highlights a mentality issue within the group.

3) Moving up in the world

It is not all doom and gloom with the Pars. There has been the unnecessary disappointment and frustration but after a difficult nine-game start, there has been a noticeable improvement as the campaign has progressed.

Comparing quarters: it went from 0.77 points per game to 1.22; the goals conceded reduced from 18 to 11; clean sheets double from one to two and instead of six losses there were five draws.

Grinding out results is important in any league but when you are in a league where the majority of teams are of a similar ability then picking up eight points every five games will see you in the mix to finish in the top half. Dunfermline has only had once such run in which they picked up nine points to end 2016.


You can follow @MichaelWood_SJ on Twitter.

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