Dunfermline Athletic

Greg Shields on Thursday

Thursday, 4th Nov 2021

04/11/21: GS - “These past 12 games are done. Now it’s showtime.

“The focus is on Saturday” claims Greg Shields “what happens the week after doesn’t matter. It’s about this weekend and Morton.

“I hope we can get the three points. Our last four games at home have been draws. What I would say is that the fans have been very good with us in those games. The games could have gone either way, but I’m sick and fed up of saying, ‘could have’ when we’re sitting at the bottom of the league. It’s not could have, it’s not should have, just do it. That’s the message.”

The bookies have Dunfermline down as favourites to win on Saturday but statistics suggest a draw to be likely. Dunfermline have drawn 6 of their last eight matches, Morton 6 in their last seven and 6 of Dunfermline’s last twelve matches against Morton have been drawn. Tenth at home to ninth, a draw highly probable but Greg insists:-

“We don’t want a draw. Depending on how the game goes, we want a win and that’s been drummed into the players. The players know that.

“We have been to Cappielow, we know what Morton are about. They are a tough team to play against but the players have to express themselves. Playing at home against Morton is a good game to do that. They need to show what they can do, especially on the back of last weekend’s 4-2.”

Greg stresses that things have to change:-

“Things weren’t working but when you are bottom of the league, you can’t go from day to day and do the same thing tomorrow as you did yesterday. That’s been the biggest change we’ve had with them.

“If you listen to them, they don’t sound like bottom-of-the-league players. That, for me, is pleasing, because there’s an atmosphere about them, there’s a bit of camaraderie.

“It’s about character now, it’s how much they want to show come this weekend how much they’re hurting, how much they believe in each other. These past 12 games are done. Now it’s showtime.

“This is where a lot of people will be watching Dunfermline now, especially the fans. The fans want us to win. There’s been a lot of disappointment this season, and myself and Steven can only prepare them the best we think.

“Sometimes, myself and Steven might not always be right but ultimately, we make the decisions the players have to go by. That’s why we’re here.”

On availability Greg revealed:-

“The majority are back, which is good. I think it’s just about everybody fit just now, which is pleasing, when you’ve got so many players on the training field.

“That’s credit to them as well. When the chips are down, they are on the training field and they are wanting to be a part of it. We’ve got boys who I believe, and I keep saying it, are hungry. When we go into games I always think we can win, that’s no different.

“You’ve seen before if you can get one win then you can build but it’s getting that win. I’m not getting ahead of Saturday, not at all. It’s about making sure we’re right and ready and we know our opposition.”

Asked specifically about centre back Mark Connolly who missed the match last Saturday through illness, Greg said:-

“Myself and Steven and the physio have spoken to Mark daily and we’ll touch base with him again and let him know what we’ve gone over. That’s important for Mark. With him being an experienced player, we can speak to him differently and say, ‘this is what we want our centre backs to do’.

“If Mark is right, he’s a big, big part of Dunfermline at the moment, because he’s experienced, he’s a great talker, he’s great in the dressing room and the players love him. As a management, he’s very good to work with - and that’s no different from two weeks ago to now. With Mark Connolly, you know what you’re getting from Mark Connolly, week-in, week-out. He’s a big influence on the team.”



Greg Shields also spoke to ParsTV



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