Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 9th Jan 2020

09/01/20: SC - “ I am not trying to say that Saturday’s performance was a great performance, we ended up losing the game but there were a lot of positives within that performance that could have allowed us to win the game.

Comment on the recall of Greg Kiltie and loan of Andy Ryan to Airdrieonians is on separate story linked below

When Dunfermline won three games back to back in a week Stevie Crawford was warning everyone not to get too carried away with it. Now on the back of four straight defeats he is warning against becoming too despondent before the trip to Cappielow on Saturday.

“The one thing that we do know going into the Morton game is that it is always a competitive fixture, they have won two of their last three games which has brought them into the pack now.”

The first match away to David Hopkin’s side back in October resulted in a 1-1 draw but that was a bitter disappointment after Andy Ryan had scored a late goal that looked a likely winner. Steve continued:-

“It was a sore one earlier in the season and we have got to focus from the first minute right to the last to give ourselves the best chance of coming away with three points.”

The Pars manager reflected on his side’s most recent setback, the home defeat to Ayr United:-

“In the first half against Ayr at the weekend I thought that there were a lot of positives. If you take the goal out of it where Forrest hit a shot that falls at the feet of Moore and he sticks it away well. It was an opportunist’s goal because he did not have a lot of time to react.

“Other than that we created the better chances. When I looked back at the game Kyle Turner had a right good chance that just went over the bar. Probably a little bit unfortunate with his one that hit the post but we do say to aim for the back post. Nizzy has had a couple of chances and Greg Kiltie was unfortunate.

“Listening to Ayr’s Mark Kerr after the game I think he came with a different game plan this time to the one before. It is a backhanded compliment to the players for the run that we had gone on.

“You get different problems in life that you have to face. You have to come up with different solutions and I think that is something that we have to try and learn from, educate the players to move on from because there are different ways to try and win games of football. Different ways to break teams down and different challenges that we are going to face.

“We said that the remit was to bring in players with a lot of years ahead of them rather than behind them. It is an educational thing as well.

“We are on the wrong side of that rollercoaster ride at the moment. It is staying strong and together that will add a maturity to the boys’ performances and giving us a chance to start winning games again.”

Stevie explained how he feels that it is different from back in October where an element of doubt might have existed while they were searching for that first home win of the season, achieved with a 3-2 win over Ayr United.

“The boys know that we can do it. I am not trying to say that Saturday’s performance was a great performance, we ended up losing the game but there were a lot of positives within that performance that could have allowed us to win the game.

“We have not won it and we have got to try and work out a way why we have not won it. That then comes with having a belief and dedicating yourself through that working week.”

Despite admitting that he is actively pursuing a new attacking threat, Stevie believes that he has a group of players that can win games of football.

“I firmly believe that, but it is not saying that on the back off our defeats that I am going about the place smiling from ear to ear. It is hurting.

“I woke up on Sunday morning with a sore head and was right into it thinking how can we address this, how can we make this better. What would I have liked as a player? Do you want to come in on Monday morning and be all doom and gloom or sometimes do you just want to know the bare facts?

“We addressed a couple of things that weren’t so good against Ayr United but in the right manner. The players at that point were very receptive and more of a positive taint on it when we showed them the video of all the good stuff from the first half.

“It is just getting this consistency where you are not peaking and then tailing off. The boys have been excellent in spells during the season but in the second half on Saturday there was just that element of going too much route one for the way that we are going to try and play football.

“You just have to strip it back and say ‘let’s regroup, get our focus on Morton but we don’t want to be playing those long diagonals at every opportunity to create 50/50s to try and score goals.

“I have not seen signs of anybody feeling sorry for themselves because that is important. Yes, there is disappointment but they have trained properly and on Saturday it is a game that we have to go into hoping to get out of this run that we are in at the moment.”

SC confirmed that Ryan Scully is fine after taking a blow late in the game against Ayr. Ryan Dow has recovered from the virus that affected him on Saturday and he also hopes to have Tom Beadling back available.

“Ryan is fine now. It was a horrible one for him, I was made aware at half time that he was struggling. He just didn’t feel that he could get his energy levels. Ryan is a worker anyway but he felt that it was like putting a white flag up on Saturday. It was far from it, he just felt that he didn’t have the burst to get away from Harvie as much as he would have hoped.

“Everything felt an effort working back the way. It tells you that there is something wrong because it is one thing Ryan has not shirked from since he came to the club. He said that he felt fine on Sunday and was back in training on Monday. It was just one of those things that unfortunately hit us on the day.

“Tom got an injection in his back, it is nothing major just something to speed up his recovery because it was a neural thing that has had a knock on effect on the hamstring. It is not a hamstring tear. Kevin has sorted that. Tom should be available for the weekend because he is making good strides.”

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