Dunfermline Athletic

Manager ahead of East Fife

Friday, 18th Oct 2013

17/10/13; JJ - "We have something to put right and hopefully we can do that; it will not be for the want of trying.


Jim Jefferies is quite certain that the poor result at Forfar is well and truly out of the system:-

"We have spoken about, watched videos of it and one of the players rightly noted that when you watch the video you wonder how we got beat. They didn't think they played that well but after watching the video we know where we went wrong. You cannot get away with naivety, mental toughness - you need to go through these things.

"Hopefully they have learned their lessons but what it proves is that you cannot take anybody for granted. We played Forfar when they were bottom of the league and just although East Fife are bottom of the league, they have some experience in their ranks - Robbie Neilson, they might have Stephen Hughes and Gary Naysmith. They will make a few changes because of their result on Saturday but it is an opportunity for us to get it right out of the system because you are only as good as your last game.

"We have something to put right and hopefully we can do that; it will not be for the want of trying. They have to make sure that they are switched on and that they do the right things. We don't need to make it too easy for teams. That's something we were guilty of in the last game."

The first match this season against East Fife was won by the only goal of the game.

"It was the first league game of the season and everybody was fired up. East Fife is never an easy place to go but I thought we played quite well but just guilty again, of what we have done a lot this season - being wasteful in the last third.

"It is a game that we should have won more convincingly than we did. There is no doubt that we deserved to win it. We played well enough and worked hard. At 1-0 we should have killed them off and when you don't kill teams off the other team has always the chance of having a go. They had a wee spell in the second half and that's what was the difference - we were resilient that day in defence.

"Somebody pointed out to me the other day that the average age of the team was 20 years and 8 months. That's low for an average when we include Andy Geggan who is 26 and others who are 22 and 23. There have to be some boys in there who are 18 or 19. It is a young side.

"Right at the start of the season I said that in this league you will find that you will have to handle the mantle of Dunfermline in a lower league where everybody will look forward to playing them - just like Rangers found. It will be a rollercoaster because we will have some great games, do well in a lot of games but sometimes it will not go for us and sometimes we will have days where we play well but lose.

"I think Forfar was a bit like that. It was the best we had played up there, better compared to the last time but you have to take your chances and make sure that you do not give away as easy goals as we gave away. It is what they have to go through to learn.

"You think if they never go through that, they will not learn what the feeling is like. They are good pros and good lads but maybe a kick in the teeth - not that we want it - but it can be a good thing as long as they learn from it.

"We will be up and down all season but it is where we are at the end of the season that will matter. We have a belief about us having played everybody apart from Rangers in the league that we cannot see why we cannot be up there challenging, even with a young side.

"They are so determined to play well, it is never through lack of effort or wanting to play for the jersey, switched off or not motivated. They are so desperate to win and do well that sometimes they get carried away.

"When we go down to an early goal, the theory is right as they try and get back in the game by piling people forward but the more that pile forward the less space that there is to create chances. These are boys who are making runs but getting picked up. We have tried to tell them that sometimes the midfield was too far up the pitch because those marking them go with them. It is hard to break teams down on a tight pitch like that and it made it easy for Forfar.

"We need spaces to knock it in to for the strikers. I have tried to make that point to them."

Stenhousemuir have now gone above Dunfermline in the league but is third place where Jim Jefferies would have expected them to be?

"The best time to look at the league is when there are twelve or fourteen games under your belt. Rangers are strong in this league, experienced, not been beaten and a tough act to conquer. When you look at the rest chasing the three play off places and like everybody else, the players would be mightily disappointed if we didn't take one of them.

"It will not be easy because other teams like Stenhousemuir think they have a chance, Ayr United think they have a chance and there are one or two others. Dick Campbell said after our game that he thought they could still be in it. There is a long long way to go but what is encouraging for us and what gives the players belief is having played everybody, we are not saying that they are easy games but we are capable of winning them.

"Stenhousemuir are going well but I felt we gave Stenhousemuir daft goals but we scored five against them. That was away from home but we have to remain focused, put the pressure on and keep challenging Rangers but if we finish in the play offs with a chance to go up then we will learn lessons from last season I'm sure."

Squad for Saturday:-

"Chris Kane is not available for the next two games through suspension though he can play in the under 20s which he did on Monday night. Ryan Ferguson picked up a wee knock but trained again from Tuesday and so we will have a full squad except for Kane.

"Chris has not played recently because he has gone part time but there will be times when we will need him if there are injuries and when suspensions kick in. There are certain games when he is useful to have. He is keeping himself fit training with Berwick Rangers and also playing with us in the 20s. He is a fit lad anyway so there is not a problem there."

2013-11-02 - Elgin Web Ad

Jim Jefferies explained like every manager he had been hoping for a home draw in the Scottish Cup. He commented on the draw which sent them north to face Elgin City:-

"Unfortunately we didn't get the home draw and you have to take what you get. I watched Elgin on Saturday at Berwick. They were 2-0 down but the manager made a good switch at half time that worked for them. They got it back, were given a break when Berwick were given a soft penalty and missed it - probably justice - but they got a soft award and scored.

"Ross Jack has them well organised and when teams can come back from 2-0 down that gives them a bit of belief that in any game they can come back. We did that ourselves against Stenhousemuir and other times when we have come back.

"It will be a tough tie but every game is tough for us. We are a young emerging side and in two years time we will be far better equipped. We are well capable of going up there and winning.

"To give ourselves the best chance we will have an overnight stay. I remember being invited up with Kilmarnock in pre season a few years back, we stayed at a nice family run place that was adequate so I have booked all that for them after Pars United agreed to do that.

"They have a good set up at Elgin and they will have improved as a team and a club since then anyway. I'm sure the boys are hungry for a wee cup run. We will be up for it and if we can take our chances we can make it difficult for them."

JJ reflected on the Court of Session verdict last week:-

"It came out of the blue although we knew it was taking a long time to sort out. Gavin had said himself that he would never put the club into liquidation but since then it has come out that it was very close. BDO said that if Gavin had won his case it might have been very difficult and they would have had to look at other options.

"There is no point on dwelling on it now, it has been decided and the club can now go forward. They have not run a football club before but they have got some good people who have been on the board recently. That they are still involved says a lot for them because they have lost investment money but it shows you that they are loyal to the club and keen to keep the club going. Hopefully they will help the new people, I am sure that the club is in good hands."

2013-10-19 - East Fife web banner


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