Dunfermline Athletic

Manager Post Civil Service Strollers

Saturday, 26th Jun 2021

26/06/21: Link to audio of Peter Grant`s post match comments

- - Listen to Peter Grant`s post match comments

Dunfermline manager Peter Grant wants to win every game he plays but felt the pre season match against Civil Service Strollers was one where his side produced loads of chances but were kept out by a keeper who played the game of his life and the woodwork:-

“If you had watched the game, the keeper has been unbelievable and the bar and the post. We should have been very very comfortable but I am more disappointed with the two goals that we conceded to be perfectly honest.

“I thought there was some very good play in the game. Bear in mind some of the boys are playing their first minutes of games this season never mind some of them just started training and we have had a few injuries. Some of them are getting minutes now so that is good and we had a couple of young boys playing.

“We have had a few trialists in over the last few weeks but we felt that they were maybe just not at the levels yet. It was a bit unfortunate for them because the timing of the Covid situation, they have probably not played since last February some of them. This is where these boys are unfortunately.

“We are getting there with the group that we have and we are hoping to freshen it up within the next two weeks but hopefully quicker. We have a few boys on the road back from injury which is always important. Getting minutes into the legs is important and I was pleased with a lot of the stuff today but obviously very disappointed with the goals that we conceded.”

On Wednesday night Peter Grant fielded five trialists but none of them remained for the match against Civil Service Strollers on Saturday afternoon. One new Trialist played in midfield.

“The squad is bare in many respects, we had only one outfield substitute today. We have had a couple of injuries as well which has not helped during this period but we are getting there slowly but surely and hopefully we will have news of a couple this week coming.

“Right until the window shuts I will be looking to bring players in to make us better. The most important thing is that I want to bring players in who are going to enhance the group. That is always important you do not bring numbers in just for the sake of making up the numbers. Anybody who has watched me through my career and am not that big on massive squads.

“It is not because I don’t like that but I like everybody to be first-team players so if I get 20 quality players I would rather have that than have 25 spread right across the group because obviously a player cost wages. I’d rather spend it in a way I feel is important, everybody can affect a match day. That is the way that I am trying to build the group.

“A lot of hard work goes into it because these are difficult situations in which to try and bring in people up because of the Covid situation getting hotels. Simple things that people probably don’t even think about at this moment in time but for us it is massive.

“We are close to a few things and we are hopeful we can to have some news about one or two at the start of the week and then hopefully as we go along before the window closes. I’m sure you’ll see the group much stronger and in a much better position than it is at this moment in time.”

Will you be looking hard at the loan market?

“Yes and I think it will be a much easier doing that here because you are coming into a full-time environment. Last year was much more difficult because they had to come out that full-time environment and then they weren’t allowed to go back into their bubble. Now on loan players can stay with us and they are our actual player. It makes a hell of a difference when you are trying to get into a loan market.

“The problem with the loan market is the quality that you’re looking at these. These clubs are are wanting to keep them in at this moment in time, roundabout their teams and even if they have been on the bench and involved it is a time to let them out now.

“I just want to give them a bit of time to get through the pre season because of all the protocols and testing. I understand that side of that as well but then I am not just going to go and take someone in for the sake of taking them in because we can’t get someone at this moment in time. We know that we will get bodies in the door and we know that we will get quality and that is what we are always looking for to enhance the grouping.

“The good thing for me is that I have been able to see the younger boys playing, that is very pleasing for me. Anyone who knows me, it doesn’t matter that age as long as they can play, they can play. I have been pleased with them, their attitude has been excellent and they have deserved their opportunity. Whereas if you get a big squad sometimes you are giving them less minutes and I am very very conscious of that.

“Their attitude to their training and their performances in training deserved them to get an opportunity so now it is up to them to just keep in my eye and make sure that they have a part to play in this season going forward. We know what the challenge is, to be number one and that is what we are trying to do.”

Deniz Mehmet started his first match since signing from Dundee United at the start of the week?

“Deniz is a quality goalkeeper, we have two quality goalkeepers now and I think Deniz brings strength and quality to a position that I felt we were we can because we had only one goalkeeper. I think that is something that we have to be very careful of, you could either go young or you go with someone who is going to be challenging and I think the more you have challenging each other on the pitch for the same position the better.

“You are teammates on a Saturday but for the rest of the week he is your competitor. That is what we want to make sure the training ground is like, completing every day so come a Saturday you have the best players who have trained well or played well previously getting the opportunity. I always feel that the training ground has to got be ultra competitive to have a successful side.”

You welcomed back today Vytas Gašpuitis?

“It is a difficult one, I have been on international duty myself whether coaching or playing and it is difficult because there is a lot of time spent in the hotel just sitting about, eating food all the time. You don’t do a lot of training, even when you are on international duty there is a lot of down time and you can see today that he was blowing a little bit but his first day on the training pitch was yesterday.

“It was nice to get him the minutes. We didn’t want him to play 90 minutes but unfortunately we had to because of the size of the squad we have at this moment in time. I am pleased to have him back and hopefully when he gets fitter we will see a right good player. He has all the stature of a centre back, now we need to get that quality in his feet to make sure he gets better there.

“I never want to take away from defenders being defenders. You see that, we won the header but young Paul (Allan) for all the good football that he has, he lets the runner go and they scored.

“These are all the wee things in the game, these are the fitness levels that you have to be at. Everybody can run but can you think and play at the same time?

I have been very very pleased with them, I am just disappointed that we never won the game. I always love winning games and with the amount of chances we had we should have won three or four games. Great goalkeeping bad misses but nice to see Nikolay getting his goal as well. It is important for a striker to continue to get in the box even though you have been a bit unfortunate prior to that.

“I thought Kevin O ‘Hara again was excellent, his work ethic is incredible and I am really pleased with that part of the pitch.”

What’s next before the Premier Sports Cup kicks off away to Partick Thistle on Saturday 10th July?

“We have a friendly lined up for Tuesday and one lined up for next Saturday so we have two games there and we are hoping to have some bodies in, if not for Tuesday, next Saturday. Then we role on to the big one when we are desperate to make sure that we have everyone fully fit for that and a few bodies in to help us.”

These two friendlies are likely to be closed doors games played away from home.

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