Dunfermline Athletic

Manager ahead of Dundee United

Thursday, 27th Oct 2011

27/10/11: JM - "We want to be as well supported as we can be and we want supporters to come to the ground.

Jim McIntyre

Jim McIntyre acknowledged that times are hard and that Dunfermline are no different from any other football club in Scotland at this moment, he said that the Club is desperate for more fans. On Saturday Dundee United travel to East End Park to meet a Dunfermline side who would leapfrog them if the Fifers came out on top, so this is a big match and one where the team could do with everybody's backing:-

"We want to be as well supported as we can be and we want supporters to come to the ground. At the same time we understand that it is financially difficult at the minute for a lot of people to do that."

In the context of the season this is the kind of match that is extremely important. There are some teams who Dunfermline will face away, but also at home, where their chances of three points are negligible but having won at Tannadice earlier this season, all Pars fans will be hoping to see their side pick up another three points on Saturday.

Macca watched United lose out to Falkirk in the Scottish Communities Cup tie but he was full of praise for their underfire manager Peter Houston:-

"They played exceptionally well. The result will make people think otherwise but Dundee United had unbelievable chances to score on Tuesday night and never took them. If they had taken their chances they would have been home and dry, sitting in the Semi Final of the cup and one win away from sixth place.

"I am sure they will be disappointed by the way things have gone so far but I don't see it as any sort of crisis. Peter Houston has done a fabulous job there. People are quick to jump on situations if there has not been a couple of results. It is just the way it is in this business - it can be horrible at times. They played very well on Tuesday night but just couldn't score."

Paul Burns celebrates first Dunfermline goal
Jason Thomson congratulates Paul Burns for his goal v Dundee United

Dunfermline haven't won since beating Dundee United 1-0 on 20th August but the Manager feels that his team is growing in confidence following much improved showings in the last two SPL games.

"Results give you confidence but also performances can do that. We lost the game against Hearts but we turned in a performance that was more like us. I think they took the confidence from that into the next week, we had to. We played very well at Inverness, dominated the game in the early stages and created good opportunities. That is more like us and we have got to be like that.

"We know we make mistakes from time to time and invariably at this level you get punished. It is how you react to that and the most pleasing thing was that when they came in at half time they didn't feel sorry for themselves.

"They came back out and had a go at Inverness and got back in the game with a good goal from the penalty spot. Liam (Buchanan) was clever to get the penalty because he invited the defender to make the challenge. We had a good chance right at the death but it is a building block for us and we want to make sure that we turn in a performance against Dundee United."

Macca will have the same squad to choose from as he had for the trip to Inverness last Saturday. Nick Phinn is back in training but a long way off playing after missing out all season. Kevin Ruitkiewicz went to see a specialist on Thursday and Steven Bell had an operation on Monday to relieve his tendon from the scar tissue that it has been stuck to. The Manager explained about his midfielder who has been out of action for just under a year:-

"His achilles has been fine; he is in great shape but because of this sticking he had no flexibility in his ankle so we had to get that procedure done and so that will be four to six weeks before we see Steven starting to run again. Martin Hardie is still struggling along" added the gaffer:-

"We think he is very close to coming back but it has been like that for the last couple of weeks. We just need to be patient with it. The last thing we should do at this stage is to stick him on when he is still feeling a bit of pain. We have got to listen to what his body is telling us and hopefully he will be there in the next week or two."

The four long term injuries will be like new signings when they come back into contention and the Manager argued that they had all been a big miss:-

"Those names would have been in and about the team. They are key players and we have had to do without them most of the season. I was expecting big things from Nicky Phinn this year because I believe that he has the ability to play at this level. He has also got a knack of popping up in the box and scoring goals.

"Obviously Ruitkiewicz and Hardie are good experienced players who know the game. They have been a miss but we just have to get on with it. Other teams will have the exact same problems as we have. I know Terry (Butcher) at Inverness had major problems as well at the beginning of the season but you just have to get on with it. It gives somebody else a chance."

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