Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Friday

Friday, 11th Nov 2022

11/11/22: JM - “You need players to buy in, you need players to take on board what you`re doing and I think last Saturday was a perfect example of that."

The Dunfermline manager James McPake praised his players team spirit that earned him the Glens Vodka SPFL League One Manager of the Month award for October and reflected on the job that has had to be done since his appointment in the summer:-

"To be fair when I was worried when we got the job, in terms of coming into a club that had had a disappointing season. That`s coupled with relegation. I was a wee bit concerned coming in. Bearing in mind off the back of, if I`m looking back I was disappointed the way it ended for me as well at Dundee. I wasn`t planning on coming back in as quickly. Probably around now I`d be looking to see what was happening, but when the opportunity to come here arose it was one that I had to take.

“Coming in here it`s been pretty easy, if I`m honest, just in terms of the group we`ve had. I`ve been lucky that I`ve got to bring in Dave Mackay and Martin Harty - he comes in on a match day as well. So I`m familiar with a couple of the staff as well, which obviously helps. That was a big part of me coming here as well is that they were really keen on bringing Dave in as well.

“We just went back to what we believe, but you need the players. You need the buy-in from the players, the hard work and that`s not to say they didn`t work hard last year. When you`re new coming in you only focus on what`s coming ahead and we`ve had that, they`ve been excellent. We are only 14 games in, there`s going to be plenty of ups and downs from now until however long we`re here.

“I`m pleased with it, I`m pleased for the players and the fans in particular, those two. You realise just how important the fans are to you, as a player and as a football club. We`ve been very lucky that since the first game that we`ve played here that the fans have been onside with us.

“That`s down to hard work from the players, I think the players deserve all the credit, if I`m honest. That`s no a cliche or trying to be clever. You certainly do, you need players to buy in, you need players to take on board what you`re doing and I think last Saturday was a perfect example of that."

This Saturday the opposition will be Clyde and James recalled the first fixture against them played just over three weeks ago:-

“It was a tight game finished off with a wonder goal from Matty Todd. We started really well in the game but couldn’t quite put it to bed because fair play to Clyde they were battling and they played some good football.

“Jim Duffy has gone in and he is vastly experienced. I have a lot of time for Jim, he`s been really helpful to young managers. Which again is good when you`re on this side and you are young and there are people with that experience. He was Dave’s manager 20 years ago at Dundee. He`s back in and he`ll be looking to put his stamp on the Clyde team tomorrow, but we just need to concentrate on the performance on the pitch for us.

“It will be a different game from the Falkirk one, we will intentionally have more of the ball. We could have gone toe to toe against Falkirk but we had a game plan to go there.

"It`s a really troubling game - they`ve lost their last eleven, which doesn`t sit very well with me either. They`re going to win at some point, that`s the way football is. Jim will be looking to do that tomorrow. So we need to make sure we`re ready."

The manager is sure that his players are ready and focussed despite taking time to savour the success of the derby day win:-

“I think it is important that you do enjoy victories because, take it from me as either a player or a manager, there are a lot more weekends where you go away sore than winning a game. It is really important that when you do win for the Saturday night and then you are back to work on a Sunday. They are focussed right now, they are enjoying winning and want to continue doing that.”

Looking at the fitness of his squad James reported:-

"Josh Edwards was sore for a couple of days with his back but he is back training now. Rhys Breen is fine, Breeny`s been great actually - full training now. Credit to him as well, he came in and trained all week with a hamstring complaint which was a bit of a risk from us. When he speaks in that big voice and tells you he`s OK, you just listen to him. He`s back training fully. Everybody`s good."

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