Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Friday, 1st Mar 2019

28/02/19: SC - “The obvious threat is Stephen Dobbie but Lyndon Dykes does well in behind. We are wary of them in terms of hitting us on the counterattack

The feel good factor and positivity that three wins in a row brings is the most important thing to the team claimed Stevie Crawford in his Thursday media briefing.

“Let’s not get carried away. The victory took longer than we had hoped but the pleasing thing is that we are not leaking goals at the moment. Defensively we look solid and obviously scoring three goals on Tuesday night is pleasing because we can take confidence from finding the net in that respect as well.”

Turning to Saturday’s home match Stevie said:-

“Queens is always a fixture that you are wary of. Gary (Naismith) will have them well set up, we have noticed that they have changed their formation a couple of times over the last few weeks so we are not sure how they will come and shape up against us.

“The obvious threat is Stephen Dobbie but Lyndon Dykes does well in behind. We are wary of them in terms of hitting us on the counterattack and we will certainly have done our homework before they come here on Saturday.”

The Pars defence successfully kept out Shankland and Moffat last weekend and now are charged with trying to stop Dobbie and Dykes. SC continued:-

“You have heard it before but it starts from the front. It is no coincidence looking back at the Inverness game, boys are taking on information of where we want them to play when teams are trying to come at us.

“It is maybe not always obvious to the eye but defenders are getting bodies round about them that gives them that little bit more security. It doesn’t guarantee that we are going to get clean sheets every week but it gives you a better chance of it.

“It is trying to get the balance right, looking strong out of possession and not giving away chances cheaply. Equally we are a threat going forward and confidence is a big issue on that sometimes on the attacking side of things.

“After the first goal went in on Tuesday night you could see the confidence start breathing through the team and the crowd getting behind us. It is a two way thing and I am sure that the crowd will get behind us on Saturday if we go about it in the same manner.”

Stevie stressed that the feel good factor he talked about came from winning games of football and thus so different from the games at Tannadice and Starks Park.

“If you go on an undefeated run for a number of games you get momentum, people start looking forward to coming to games, looking forward to playing games.

“The one thing I will say is that the attitude and commitment of the players hasn’t changed from the day that we stepped into the job. It is the results that have changed. Raith Rovers is in the past, it is a sore one. It would have been better if we had managed to win that one and get through to the next round of the Scottish Cup but it is done.

“The positive from that is the players have dug in deep. We went to Morton the next week and it was 0-0 on the day at not an easy place to go. That was a massive test for them and that told us a lot about how they were as a group under difficult circumstances. In the last three games we have got the rewards from that because they have stuck together.

“There is now a belief and togetherness. Instead of people looking over their shoulder to blame somebody, albeit they are not conscious that’s what they are doing, they are now looking over their shoulder knowing that their team mates behind have got their backs (covered).

“It just brings that extra percentage. For the coaching staff that is all that we will continue to try and get out of players. If that happens, it doesn’t mean that you are going to win three points but what it does is create an atmosphere at your workplace whether it be on a Saturday or whether during the week at training where people want to be part of it.

“It gets the connection with the supporters as well. If we can go out and get that same commitment on Saturday the fans will get behind us. You heard them at the end of the game against Partick, they are there for us but it is our responsibility to actually bring that out the supporters as well. Then it works two ways. The supporters then get behind the players and the players kick on again.

“The first few games were difficult to take in terms of results but in terms of them buying in to the togetherness they have been great from day one.”

The gaffer confirmed his injured players - Jackson Longridge, Myles Hippolyte and James Vincent would need to be assessed on Friday. Faissal El Bakhtaoui (calf injury), Lewis Martin and Andy Ryan will still be out.

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