Dunfermline Athletic

Manager Post Stenhousemuir

Saturday, 24th Jul 2021

24/07/21: link to audio of Peter Grant`s post match comments

- - Listen to this Peter Grant Interview

Commitment and attitude of the players again pleased the Dunfermline manager Peter Grant:-

“They showed a lot of quality, there was a lot of good play and we saw some great goals. But yet again we lost a goal from our own possession in the opposition’s final third. The one thing that we asked for in the second half - a clean sheet - we never got. That is the big disappointment.”

You must be delighted with the intensity that Dunfermline showed?

“That is the good thing about this group, they have shown great respect to their opponents. We knew that it would be a tough game because Stenhousemuir have done very well in the transfer market. They have recruited very well and have good players.

“I had three of the boys at Alloa - Adam Brown, Nicky Jamieson and Robert Thomson - and know all their quality. We had to work really hard to get the opening but they showed great patience and I think that was the difference in the second half. We started to run with the ball instead of moving the ball quicker.

“I know that it is difficult when you are winning by so many goals at that particular time and we start doing things that we have talked about not doing. Keep the ball going, keep the ball moving quick because the ball moves quicker than you, so stop running with it.

“Then we started making a couple of wrong choices for a ten minutes and it cost us with a goal. As I said there is a lot to be very pleased with but you know me, I’m a stickler for trying to do everything right and if an opposition is going to score against us I’d like it to be a good goal. We can’t give possession away as cheaply as we did and lose a goal from the opposition’s half. That was criminal actually to do that but it is something to learn from.

“We have always got something to learn from every game that you go into. I am maybe being a stickler, I am delighted with a lot of it but obviously there are some bits bringing on me still.”

With nine points Dunfermline have qualified for round two of the Premier Sports Cup and as Peter has said before he wants to win every competition that he is involved in.

“Why shouldn’t we? We have got good players, the aim is to win every game that you play. You are trying to play well on every match you play. It is not going to happen but I have won cup competitions with Birmingham, I have got to finals with West Ham when people least expected it and last year with Alloa we got to the quarter final and were very unfortunate against Hibs.

“It is possible, anything is possible in football and that is why you go into every game dusted down, you move on to the next one and try and win the next one. That is what we have tried to do throughout. We had a disappointing result, not a disappointing performance against St Mirren. They put us under pressure and first half I thought we were excellent and we were disappointed to lose that game. The boys have bounced back tremendously well and to have scored the amount of goals that we have in that period is very pleasing obviously.”

The front three have impressed and have all scored freely.

“They are terrific players but you know they are getting pushed from behind from other guys that we have here. I think it is important that the squad is strong so if we want to make a change on the pitch it doesn’t take that quality down. We are getting close to that now when you see Kai Kennedy coming on you can see the quality coming off the bench to keep the game up there, the tempo and quality going.

“I am really really pleased at that but we know that we have a long hard shift in front of us. We know that we have to play well every week, we have to train well every day to get better and better. The boys know that there are a lot of things that we have to try and improve on.

“That is what he is here for, to try and improve. Once he gets his match fitness which is so important for him - I don’t want to rush him too quickly because he has just come in the door on Thursday. It has been a long drawn out saga, nobody’s fault but I’m delighted that he is in now it about matches in his legs.

“It is the same as Reece Cole, it is a long time since he has played games. We played Reece a little longer but just before we took him off he had slipped and I think that was just down to fatigue through not playing a lot of matches.

“We have to be very very careful on that. Some boys played today to get their minutes in and that is no disrespect to Stenhousemuir. Everybody knows that the league is the most important thing and when you don’t have a reserve team you have to give them matches.

“I am really pleased that they got their minutes in and I was delighted with their performances. When we lost the goal it gives you that something in the back of your throat but they were excellent, probably 80% I was happy with but that 20% is where we will have to work really really hard at.”

Kai Kennedy looks as though he could be a special talent for Dunfermline one he is up to speed?

“I don’t want to send him back as a Dunfermline player, I want to send him back as a player who is capable of playing for Rangers. I want him to come here with Rangers knowing that he is already a quality player that they have but he does go back a poorer player.

“He goes back a player who can excite people and there are not many of guys in the game now who take guys on in one v one situations. We have had to try and get the mix right. We want people who can take on one v one situations because these are going to be important at times in games.

“You see him with that one v one situation but other ones can see space quicker with passes and other ones are good runners. I think that we have a balance of that in the group and once Kai gets up to speed and understands the things that we are looking for. It is maybe slightly different to what he is used to but we are hoping a player who is more than capable of going into playing and performing in their first team.

“You want to get him on the ball, that is the most important thing and sometimes standing still is the most important thing in football. When you see that and he is free, give it him early. It is something that we have to get better at as we did getting Kevin into positions. I thought Craig Wighton’s positional play was excellent, he has added that to his game in a short period of time.

“I think they all thought that it was about running all the time but sometimes everybody else has got to move and you move the other way and you end up with more space.

“I have been delighted with them, they are taking on it on board. Kai and Reece have just come in but they will learn that quickly because it is what we try to produce every day in training. They are very much aware of what is expected of them.

“I was really pleased with Kai, he is a fantastic talent and I’m sure that he will go on and excite the supporters. As I have said before, the most important thing is getting supporters back in the door and exciting them when they come. They spend a lot of money coming to watch games of football.

“As I said last week it has been eighteen months of torture for everybody, so when people come they want to be excited and hopefully the boys that we bring here give them that excitement.

“We will have our dark days but hopefully we can eradicate that quickly with the quality of the players that we have and win us more games than we lose.”

There has been quite a lot of talk of potential interest in Rhys Breen from yourself. Is there anything that you can say about that at this stage?

“The same as I said last week, good player.”

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