Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Monday

Monday, 12th Apr 2021

12/04/21: SC - “It is the fighting spirit that we saw in the Hearts and Ayr performances that I need to see from the boys.

Stevie Crawford is acutely aware of the importance of each of the four remaining league matches. The home match against Dundee on Tuesday night is the first challenge but three points are becoming of paramount importance:-

“The games coming up are massive games and I have said before the ones against Dundee have been exciting ones in my term as manager here. They are on a great run of form but it is the fighting spirit that we saw in the Hearts and Ayr performances that I need to see from the boys. That gives us the best opportunities to start winning games.”

Lee Ashcroft has scored four goals in the last five matches for Dundee, can we stop him?

“He has hit a bit of form, a purple patch like Euan Murray had in the earlier parts of the season but we will be fully focused on trying to cause them bother. We will be fully aware that we need to defend setplays better against Dundee.”

Scott Banks and Iain Wilson were missing on Saturday was that due to injury?

“Unfortunately Iain Wilson has been struggling for a number of weeks. It is things that you don’t want to bring to the attention of everybody but it just became a game too much. He has a niggling Achilles that is flaring up every now and again. We are trying to manage the loads so unfortunately he was missing at the weekend.

“Ewan Henderson (pictured above) came in and did well and Scott Banks came off in the game before (v Hearts). He has a tweak to his calf and I can’t put a timescale in it until it settles down.

“On the back of that there is also a couple of bodies who put their neck on the line when they are maybe not hundred per cent fit. I am talking about the experienced guys like Paul Watson and Steven Whittaker who came on at a difficult period in the game. They could easily have sat on the treatment table.

“We went to Ayr knowing that they were on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Dundee, they would be hurting. We started well in the game, scored a very good goal and we were disappointed, as I said after the game on Saturday, with a few of the decisions we made in the lead up to their goal.

“The first half petered out and after that there wasn’t much in it. Second half we made the tactical decision to try and get two upfront with Declan just in behind. We went with three at the back and I thought that we finished the game stronger without creating clear cut chances but we had a few efforts that came off defenders that sometimes fall for you. Hopefully that will be the rub of the green that we will get in the upcoming games.”

Stevie found his forecast of a competitive match at Somerset Park was spot on:-

“The games that are won by two or three goals are very few and far between in this league. It is fine margins but what I have been delighted with is the response and the reaction from the boys on the training pitch, in the Hearts game and against Ayr United. Boys coming back and playing when they could easily have sat out with knocks.

“We will need them, we will need everybody- it is going to be a big ask but one that we are capable of doing. We are getting tested at the moment, it could prove a very good point for us now that we have three home games to look forward to.”

It was fairly typical of the Championship that all four matches on Saturday ended up in draws. It would have been all the same had Dunfermline, Raith Dundee and Inverness had won their games.

“I am not hugely disappointed after seeing the results. I am not accepting coming away with a draw but we know that our away form has been our Achilles heel but the pleasing thing for me there are boys who still feel that they want to do well for the club. Our destiny is still in our own hands.”

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