Dunfermline Athletic

John Hughes has a dream

Tuesday, 16th Nov 2021

16/11/21: JH - “I know where I’m going but you need to put everything in place to get there.

The new Dunfermline manager John Hughes gave his first media conference on Tuesday and he was in good form claiming that his first few days in the post had been very enjoyable.

“Although I am just in, you try and put the right messages in and hope that the players take it on board. What I saw on Saturday in terms of the togetherness and the trust that is what we asked for. They showed that and they showed plenty character in terms of going a goal down, sticking together, coming back and always keeping ourselves in the game.

“It is absolutely fantastic but there are a few things that I have to acknowledge. Peter Grant, although it never worked out for Peter, he has left a right good foundation for me to come in and get myself going.

“I’ve been in touch with Peter, he’s a gentleman and he’s the first guy who texts when you win, and he’s the first guy who texts to say ‘my advice to you is go and have a look and assess things yourself, and you know where I am’.

“There’s a lot, lot going on. It’s been a whirlwind but with everyone I meet - I see so many people involved in the club who are Dunfermline supporters and love the club. You can see it oozing out of them.

“I’m a great man at looking on the ground floor. Sometimes we look elsewhere but I like to say ’that man knows what it’s all about’. You have to invest in that. The guys have been here for years and they only want what’s best for the club.

“In terms of expectations, we have to handle it. You cannot shy away from it, it’s a mental strength and you have to use the mental tools and play to the expectations and play to the standards and demands that we want.”

The gaffer drew similarities with the task facing him when he went in to the manager’s position at Ross County just before Christmas last year.

“It is nothing new to me in terms of going into Ross County. The players there were lacking confidence and a little bit momentum which comes when you are not winning games. So it was important to get a performance and everyone knowing what they were doing.

“I think the win helped but the welcome that I have had from everyone has been great. Right back to the interview process which was very intense and thorough but the passion, the vision of what I saw in that interview - although it was me that was getting interviewed - but if you ask the right questions I was saying ‘yep, I want to be part of that.’

“We all know that Dunfermline is a sleeping giant and someone has to get it right to take this club back up to the top flight. I see that as a great challenge for me, I want a bit of that, I fancy that. I had no hesitation and I am thrilled and delighted to be here.

“We just need to bring it together and stick to the direction we’re going in, and hopefully we make the right decisions and everything we do brings success.

“If you’re ambitious, I’ve no embarrassment being a 57-year-old man in saying it starts with a dream but you need to manifest it. I know where I’m going but you need to put everything in place to get there.

“We all want it but are you prepared to do the work to get there?
It might take you a little while to get there but we’re getting there because you can see it move forward all the time.

“The supporters have got a massive part to play. If we get this right, you know what this place can be like - and everybody in Scotland knows what this place can be like if we get this right. Then all the kids from the local schools are not going on the bus to support Celtic and Rangers, they’ll all coming to watch their local team. Why? Because there’s a real pride in the club. That’s maybe further down the line, but it’s something we have to get to.

Hughes confirmed that he is very happy for Greg Shields and Steven Whittaker to continue in their coaching roles:-

“My two staff members, Steven and Greg, I honestly don’t know how they do it. They’re everything. I’ve been in the game 18 years but they’re doing stuff that I’m not good at. They will be in there already working on video analysis for Saturday’s match. What I’m not good at, they can do and I can do what I’m good at. It’s about bringing that all together.

“I’m seeing we’re a good team and as long as we’re going in the one direction that’s the main thing. These guys will get a say in what we’re doing and what the team is. I’ll have the final say, but you have to use their knowledge of the players and what needs done.

“After the win on Saturday you could see them come in on Monday with a spring in their step. There will be Saturdays where we don’t win and they’ll still have to come in on a Monday with a spring in their step and a buzz, because if they don’t they’ll be getting a size nine and a half.

“You’re doing something you love, you’ve been doing it since you were a kid and don’t take it for granted. You’re doing something you love, with a passion and an enthusiasm. For me, that’s what football’s all about, with a love for the club you’re at.”

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