Dunfermline Athletic

Jefferies on Thursday

Friday, 15th Mar 2013

14/03/13: JJ - "It is bad enough stopping progressing because of the financial plight but it would be even worse if we start to lose boys

JIM JEFFERIES

Jim Jefferies is trying to put off the field negotiations in the background and asking his team to concentrate on Saturday's derby match against Raith Rovers:-

"It is not easy, I am depending upon the players just wanting to get on with it because footballers always have got their pride. A few weeks ago it was a different scenario because the frustration had built up."

The Manager explained that the continual promise of catching up with wage payments that didn't materialise had taken the players to breaking point:-

"After what Jim Leishman told us on Monday, everyone is aware of the situation. Bob Garmory came down today because Jim's away just now but we know that he is hoping that people can get around the table and do their bit. Nothing can become of it unless there is a change at the top. We just have to hope, like everybody else, that can be resolved and plan accordingly on a game to game basis. It would be easy for players to think 'what's the point' but it is our job to try and make sure that they are still professional."

JIM JEFFERIES

Jim also is also fearful that the inability to pay players will start to erode his playing squad. He knows that and cannot blame them:-

"The likes of Andy Geggan he is hoping to get a full time club next year and so we could end up losing a very very good player. He has had a very good season for us, he doesn't want to leave but he is being forced to leave through lack of wages. He is under contract but the contract will not mean anything if the Club have breached that contract. You cannot hold somebody to a club that you cannot pay."

Some players gave up jobs to go full time at Dunfermline this season. Ryan Wallace was full time at Hearts, it didn't work out for him there but started again after being part time at East Fife. Several players who are out of contract  this season could just go somewhere else denying Jefferies the chance to build on the success he has achieved this season in re-building a team.

"It is bad enough stopping progressing because of the financial plight but it would be even worse if we start to lose boys who will get better next year."

The attitude of the Dunfermline Athletic fans was something that Jim wanted to single out for praise:-

"They have been very understanding and have given us as much support as they can. They have been helping out financially with donations but also getting behind them and supporting them.

"I made the point that they deserved nothing for their first half against Partick Thistle; they made a difference in the second half. Then on Saturday from 3-1 down, with the players that we had missing - they were nothing near those who played at the start of the season, but they never gave in and got a draw from six minutes to go. Given the state that their minds would have been in, it speaks volumes for them for just getting on with it. They didn't lie down but fought to the end and got their reward."

JIM JEFFERIES

This week's fixture at Starks Park is an ideal match if its pride the Pars players are playing for:-

"It means a lot to beat your rivals and after three really good games against them we have come out on top each time. That doesn't mean anything now because we are a bit of a different side now to what we were because of the situation. Quite rightly they will think they have their best chance of beating us. We have got to be aware of that and try and do the right things like we did in the last three games against them.

"It should be a good atmosphere. I think Raith Rovers deserve a lot of credit, even though their Chairman has taken some stick, for giving us the opportunity to raise money. Cowdenbeath are prepared to put a proposal forward because we are due them money. We have to thank those clubs because I'm sure if they were in the same boat they would be looking for Dunfermline to help them out."

"In football when you are close together, even though there is rivalry these are big games. Dunfermline will be Raith Rovers' biggest game; they would much prefer Dunfermline to be in their league than any other club. It is two great atmospheres, great rivalry and it has been a good gesture from their Chairman. He might have gone the whole hog and given us it all" joked JJ "but he is right he is not a charitable institution either; they have got wages to pay. It is an incentive for fans to go and the more fans that turn up the better the backing that you will get."

Stephen Jordan trained on Thursday for the first time in a while and he will need to see if there was a reaction to that and possibly Saturday might be just too soon for him. Craig Dargo has had to shrug off an injury when he clashed with Airdrie United's Chris O'Neill on Saturday but he trained on Thursday for the first time this week. The good news was that Shaun Byrne who has been out for just over a month returned to action in the U20s match on Thursday night against St Mirren. With Jordan McMillan and Andy Geggan returning from suspension that would leave Josh Falkingham and Andy Barrowman still on the injury list.

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