Dunfermline Athletic

Manager looks ahead to Falkirk match

Wednesday, 7th Oct 2020

07/10/20: “The frustration of not having supporters there will take something away from it but if the boys can apply the same attitude and commitment levels that they did the other night then I am sure that it will be a tasty affair.”

After the win over Dumbarton on Tuesday night Stevie Crawford gave the players who started a recovery day and they will have another couple of training sessions under their belts before they take on Falkirk in Friday night’s televised Betfred Cup game. He said that it was another one to look forward to.

The importance of the outcome is possibly heightened after Falkirk were awarded three points when Kilmarnock could not play them on Tuesday night. Friday night’s game may determine who ultimately wins the group, so does Stevie know what his strongest team is for that game?

“That’s an interesting question. What I will say is that we will put out a team like we did against Dumbarton to make sure that we give ourselves the best chance of winning and progressing in the tournament.

“We know that it will be a challenging game, we have looked into Falkirk over the course of pre season to try and have an idea of what they are all about. They have added to a very good squad that is going to be competing at the right end of League One to try and get back into the Championship.

“We just have to make sure that we pick the right starting eleven but a massive thing for us was the impact the substitutions had, coming off the bench to allow us to go on and win the game against Dumbarton. It is sometimes not the starting eleven that wins you the game, it is the players who end up on the pitch as well. That is the pleasing thing for us.”

On Tuesday night there were four debut starts - Kerr McInroy, Paul Watson, Kevin O’Hara (pictured above) and Steven Whittaker - and three debuts off the bench - Declan McManus, Fraser Murray and Iain Wilson (all three pictured below). Asked how pleased he was with that, he was more result focused:-

“Overall it is just making sure that there is a focus on winning games. I have said that I want to progress in this tournament. We have done for the last few years now and it is not about any individual, it is about collectively looking to play together as a team and win games.”

Dunfermline v Falkirk is a local derby that always generates rivalry and even in the absence of fans, the manager is confident that there will be great motivation to come out on top albeit he does greatly lament the fact that there will be no fans.

“Credit to the game against Dumbarton, I thought it was played at a decent intensity considering the lay off the boys have had. The Falkirk game brings that edge to it. It will be very frustrating, I am not going to kid anybody on, the frustration of not having supporters there will take something away from it but if the boys can apply the same attitude and commitment levels that they did the other night then I am sure that it will be a tasty affair.”

Stevie could not throw any light on the fixture due to be played at Kilmarnock on Tuesday night:-

“We have just to control what we can control. There have been situations already in the season where it is affecting clubs at different times. It is not great to see Kilmarnock picking up cases of the virus and they ended up losing points to Falkirk but the rules state that.

“I am no further forward in knowing if our game against them is going to go ahead but we will prepare. Nobody has told us otherwise.

“We will prepare for the Falkirk game and be in over the weekend to make sure that we are preparing right for the Kilmarnock game on Tuesday. We will follow the protocols and guidelines to do the covid testing later in the week.”

The manager confirmed that his 24 year old defender, Lewis Martin who was missing from the pre season matches, is back in training after picking up a problem in pre season.

“It is not anything that we are concerned about, it is just making sure because he missed out on some of the conditioning work, that we make sure that we do not throw him back in too early.”

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