Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 5th Mar 2020

05/03/20: SC - “It is not ideal losing a guy who has scored that amount of goals but it is a collective effort for a team.

Wednesday night’s match was Dunfermline’s 33rd competitive match of the season but it was the first in which Kevin Nisbet took no part. Sidelined with an ankle injury incurred against Dundee United last Saturday, Stevie Crawford today revealed that his top goalscorer has had a scan on his ankle:-

“We have had to get Kevin scanned and I do not want to say something that I do not have medical feedback from yet in terms of timescale. We are having to see day by day at the moment where we are at with Kevin.”

Asked about a post on social media last night suggesting that he would be out for six weeks. Stevie said:-

“That is something that I am not aware of. If there are things like that going on social media that is outwith my control to say anything about. Until we get the feedback of exactly where he is that, then I am not wanting to say if it’s a matter of weeks or days or whatever. When I get that information, it is important that we share it with the supporters and the club.

“He got the scan on Monday and 24 hours later we got the report back and it is now for the medical side of things to address where we are at and how we go ahead with his rehab. He is a big part, he has scored lots of goals and I understand that there will be people wanting to know where we are at with it.

“It opens up the immediate future for and opens the door for Gabby McGill, Lewis McCann and Jonathan Afolabi. Ethan Ross can also play in that position just off the striker.

Discussing his other injured players, SC continued:-

“Ryan Dow has a slight issue with a hamstring again, will Saturday come too soon? I am not sure, but we cannot take a risk with Ryan.

“Aaron Comrie is in a better place to contend for a starting place at the weekend. The flip side on that is that Lee Ashcroft came off in the dying minutes at Arbroath. We are not even 24 hours since the game yet but for Lee to come off there was obviously an issue but we need to give him another 24 hours to see if his knee can settle down.

“He just came down and landed awkwardly. He tried to stay on for the next corner but just did not feel that the stability was there on his knee. Lee is an honest boy, it is going to be sore this morning, there is restriction in his movement of the knee. He has had it looked at but it is still difficult to tell. Tomorrow we will have a better chance to see where we are with that.”

Above: During the warm up at Gayfield, Ryan Dow, Kevin Nisbet and Aaron Comrie found themselves sidelined through injury

Are injuries more likely with games coming up so quickly?

“Yes and other teams will face the same thing. Touch wood you are hoping that you don’t pick up more of the soft tissue ones like a hamstring or a calf injury. It is about getting the balance right with the recovery given that pitches are heavy at the moment.

“For ourselves that spell of being out for that number of weeks brings its challenges because you cannot replicate that in training. We tried to get bounce games amongst ourselves to keep up that conditioning side. Lee doing his knee last night wasn’t a case of him pulling up with a hamstring injury, or a groin or a calf injury. We are going to have to deal with it and if Ashy doesn’t make it at the weekend or some of the other boys don’t, we have players who are ready to come in.

“Joe Thomson came in last night, Lewis Martin slotted in at right back for us and we have Josh Edwards and Miller Fenton who are champing at the bit to come in. Miller is only 16 years of age but he has trained consistently at a good level with us since he signed and he is chapping on the door to be in the team. He will not be phased by it if we have to use him.”

Stevie watched this Saturday’s opponents Queen of the South draw 0-0 with Partick Thistle on Tuesday night, he commented:-

“When you go and watch these games you are trying to pick up wee bits and pieces to help you try and exploit an opposition. I am not going to say it publicly because it then sounds like you are being disrespectful to Allan and Sandy‘s team.

“I didn’t think Queens started the game that well but they managed to turn it, they competed and had chances. It will be a difficult fixture and we know that we will have to be bang at it to try and win all three points.”

The Pars took confidence from last Saturday’s win over Dundee United and even though they drew on Wednesday night, Stevie felt that there were positives to take from the match at Gayfield.

Above right: Miller Fenton is getting closer to first team action

“It is easy to turn and say that it wasn’t a great game of football but it was a game of football. It is not pleasing for supporters to go and watch that type of game because the ball must have got sore at times.

“When you look at what is at stake, Arbroath are up there and desperate to get into the play-offs. No matter what anybody else is saying Arbroath will be trying to get in amongst it because they have competed all season and it is not an easy place to go. They are doing well away from home as well, so we knew how hard a fixture that it was going to be.

“I took more out of last night than I did out of the Dundee United game. People will think that I am mad saying that but I really did see a different side to us. Against Dundee United I thought we competed, we had to deal with that physical element that we showed at Arbroath last night but we also played football against Dundee United.

“Everything was there and it was just one of those days where everything clicked. Then the connection with the supporters and everybody about the place, they take a lift from that. I do not think that we should underestimate the performance and the application of the players last night at Arbroath.”

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