Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 27th Feb 2020

27/02/20: SC - “I didn’t realise that it was 13 years since we last defeated Dundee United in the league here but that is another challenge...something that we have to use as motivation to go and try and win the game.

It is 13 years since Dunfermline last recorded a home win over Dundee United but Pars manager Stevie Crawford is not superstitious and hopes that it can be lucky for his team when they face the league leaders this Saturday.

Stevie wore the number 13 shirt for Scotland when coming on in the European Championship qualifier in Toftir in September 2002. Trailing 2-0 at the break, Berti Vogts brought on Stevie Crawford as a half time sub for Leicester City’s Paul Dickov.

Scotland drew 2-2 but goals were scored by Paul Lambert and Barry Ferguson but Stevie recalled that the number 13 did not have any negative impact on his performance. In fact he went on to win a further 21 caps for his country.

“I didn`t realise that it was 13 years since we last defeated Dundee United in the league here but that is another challenge that we are going to face. There are lots of things that can be thrown in your way but that is something that we have to use as motivation to go and try and win the game.

“We are now coming to the stage in the season where we are playing teams for the third, possibly fourth time. In the last game down here we said that in the first half I didn`t think we got to the levels that we should have. I thought the second half performance was miles better.

“I thought we competed in the game up at Tannadice and thought that we were excellent in the second half and very unfortunate not to get back a goal to get us back in the game.

“We know the challenges that are ahead Dundee United have obviously invested in their squad. They have opened up that gap at the top of the table but we have to focus on ourselves for Saturday and hopefully we can put that 13 year gap right.”

Luck seemed to favour the opposition on Tuesday night and the Pars were denied the chance to take a grip of the play off places which are still tight.

“The disappointment is in not getting at least the draw, I thought that was the least we deserved from the game. ‪ It just ‬allowed them to get away from the pack a little bit but it is all still there to play for.

“Anybody can beat anybody on their given day so we have to make sure that the disappointment doesn`t disturb the belief that the boys have got in them. They were as disappointed as anybody that we never took anything from the game.”

The Pars have faced Inverness three times and are very disappointed that they have not managed to take a single point off them but the gaffer did take something from the most recent defeat:-

“We were more than happy with our performance on the night, and our application. We created opportunities, but possibly could have done better at times to score or at least hit the target.”

Another positive was that didn’t look like a team that hadn’t played for more than three weeks, he continued:-

“It’s difficult to replicate that in training. We had a couple of reserve games and a couple of bounce games amongst ourselves. That’s why, looking back at the game, we were happy with the application.

“The first goal set us back a little bit and we probably went a little bit route one, although we were getting success from that in the early parts of the game.

“We addressed that at half-time and we wanted to play another couple of passes and introduce the wide men into the game and get more sustained pressure, and I thought we did that in the second-half.

“We scored a really, really good goal to get us back into the game, and I did genuinely think we were going to go on and win it. It’s a sore one to take, the deflected goal, but in terms of performance and attitude I couldn’t have asked for more.

Beaten by a dubious goal and a deflection, Stevie did not want to blame others for the defeat:-

“You can only be in control of what’s out there and how you set up your team. But what I will say is that, after the games in the early part of the season, I kept biting my tongue. The other night there were decisions within the game that made it harder for us. Hopefully over the course of the season that will level out.

“I thought the way we responded to the first goal, to a man, was different class, and there were things that could have been kinder to us on the evening. So, it’s not to get too disheartened from it. We can’t change it, we can only move forward from it, and we just have to focus on the Dundee United game.”

Following Tuesday’s match Ryan Dow is struggling with a hamstring injury unfortunately but other than that the squad is free of any other injuries.

When Ryan was forced off and subbed just nine minutes into the second half against Caley, it was Ethan Ross, on loan from Aberdeen who replaced him. Should Ethan retain his place could 13 just crop up again as lucky? Stevie commented on how the 18 year old ended up with his squad number:-

“It is weird because when Ethan Ross came in we looked and 13 was the lowest squad number available at the time.

“7 was my favourite number but I wasn`t superstitious with 13. I always felt that it is just how some people are, I understand that but it doesn`t play too much on my mind.”

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