Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Monday

Monday, 29th Mar 2021

29/03/21: SC - “ If our boys apply themselves in the manner that they did for the majority of the Dundee game, I am confident that we will go and give Raith Rovers a game and a run for their money.

Pars boss Stevie Crawford won’t dwell on the defeat at Dundee and the manner of it. Now the focus on Raith Rovers match at Stark’s Park on Tuesday night, he told the website:-

“We have been in for a recovery, we will do our prep for the Raith Rovers game. I think they tweaked their shape and possibly played a diamond the last couple of games in midfield.

“If our boys apply themselves in the manner that they did for the majority of the Dundee game, I am confident that we will go and give Raith Rovers a game and a run for their money. Having gone to Dens at the weekend and lost the game, it is important that we take something from Tuesday night now.

“If you lose a game of football after being 2-0 up, it shouldn’t really happen. There were positive performances in it and we are going to need that positivity going into the remaining games now that we face. The destiny is still in our own hands to finish in the playoffs and as high as we possibly can in this league but we are making it hard for ourselves at the moment.

“We probably have been guilty in some of our away performances of not scoring goals. At Dens Park I thought that we looked like we had that cutting edge. So there are positives to build on there but we need to get back to our defensive mentality. That leads from the front, it is not just the defenders and big Owain. Collectively we need to do more to keep the ball out of the net.”

Did we score too early against Dundee?

“No, I don’t think it was a case of scoring too early. I thought that they were two very well taken goals. We knew then that Dundee were probably going to come at us but I still thought that we were front foot.

“We lost a poor first goal in terms of reactions. Big Owain has made a number of saves, we still for some reason didn’t have bodies around about to try and help him out. We had a couple of half chances towards the end of the first half and have not taken them.

“It was important that we went in at half time still one ahead in the game. As I said after the game on Saturday night, the thing that is disappointing is that there was a ten minute spell at the start of the second half where we seamed to sit and try and protect or own 18 yard box, which wasn’t said at half time.

“It came back to bite us so there is disappointment there, the fact that we looked more dangerous and more creative. Craig Wighton and Kevin O’Hara took their goals well and it will give them confidence leading into the games for the remainder of the season now.”

What have you taken out of watching Raith recently?

“The one thing that John (McGlynn) does is making his team very possession based, they like getting their foot on the ball and playing passes. If you are not bang at it like we were in the earlier parts of the game through at Stark’s Park earlier in the season, they got a foothold in the game early on.

“Then there was a great reaction from our boys that day towards the end of the first half and then in the second half that we showed what we were about. We need more of the same as that.

“We are still developing as a club and as much as Saturday night hurts, we shouldn’t be dropping points in a game like that. It is important between now and the end of the season that we start putting points on the board again.”

After coming off early in the second half on Saturday, Paul Watson is a doubt for Tuesday night with what the manager described as “an ongoing thing.”

“Credit to Paul, he wanted to put his neck on the line. He is an experienced boy who knows when to hold his hand up. It is a bit early to know if he is going to be available for Tuesday night.”

Vytas Gašpuitis will still be missing while away with the Lithuanian international team.

Twenty one year old Ewan Henderson was added to the squad on Friday when he joined on loan from Celtic and came on as a second half sub on Saturday night. Stevie added:-

“He is a player who has caught my eye for a number of years. We did try to get him earlier in the window in January as well. We declared an interest at that point but it wasn’t happening. We have kept at it and he is a great addition to the squad for the remaining seven games now.

“You could see his qualities when he came on the park on Saturday. He adds to the competition for places but it is not just competition for places, we need to get points and I think with the experience he has got, he will bring an edge with his play but he will also bring an edge to the other boys as well.

“He sees a pass going forward, he is not afraid to take the ball. He has good vision, knows when to get out of tight situations and also knows when to move the ball. He also knows how to ask questions, he has a great weighted longer pass as well which we saw on Saturday night. He put in a couple of crosses that had the keeper or defenders scrambling.

“I am delighted that the club have backed me on that one to bring Ewan in. He will help us over the coming games now.”

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