Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 3rd Dec 2020

03/12/20: SC - “It is nice to see two Fife teams are at the top end of the Championship going head to head.

Stevie Crawford is a member of the Raith Rovers Hall of Fame but Pars fans everywhere hope that he can lead his Dunfermline team to victory over the Rovers on Saturday in their first Championship meeting since 2017.

Stevie is forever grateful to Raith Rovers for handing him his debut in senior football. He went on to score 37 goals in 160 appearances for Raith , playing a major role with the Kirkcaldy club and helping them to win the Coca-Cola Cup and promotion to the Premier League before moving south to join Millwall. The Dunfermline gaffer claimed that his career at Raith has to be parked while he tries his best to get results against the Pars rivals.

“I have said it before, I have got to take that feeling away because going there is not about me. I am going there to lead the team and just try and continue the form that we are in at the moment. The application last week from the boys and the preparation for the Arbroath game after the Hearts game was excellent. We are getting the same feeling from them again.

“It was a case of going up to Arbroath, doing a professional job and then having the enjoyment of being in the draw on Sunday night. Then we very much focused on Monday’s recovery session. The boys who didn’t play in the game worked extremely hard and this is one of the issues that we are going to have.

“I am conscious that the boys who are not getting games of football is one of the problems that you face with the coronavirus. We do not have a reserve team at the moment so these boys are applying themselves right on a Monday and giving themselves the best chance to keep a decent level of fitness if they are going to be called upon on a Saturday.”

Raith Rovers have taken ten points from their first five Championship matches, they have scored 21 goals in their nine games this season and are unbeaten at home. It can be expected that the Rovers will provide formidable opposition for Stevie’s team. He commented:-

“I think it will be an attractive game of football. It is nice to see two Fife teams are at the top end of the Championship going head to head. I have seen Raith myself earlier in the season. Jason (Dair) went along to watch them against Inverness in the League Cup. It finished three each and went to penalties.

“They are a very good side, they have scored a number of goals and they have creative players but we have been scoring goals as well so it will make for an exciting game on Saturday.

“I know that there is rivalry there but I think it is a good advert for Fife but also for the Scottish Championship. As I have touched upon, I think that there are going to be a number of players on both sides that play the game in the right manner.”

Given the number of times Raith have hit the net this season defensive qualities are likely to be important. Stevie continued:-

“We have been working hard out of possession and if we don’t that is when we will come unstuck. You have got to get the platform right to allow you the opportunity to win a game. We have not lost focus on that as it stands at the moment. We just have to continue to make sure that we do that side properly as we face the challenges that Raith will throw at us.”

Steven Whittaker missed the match at Arbroath and did not trained in the early part of the week. The manager said:-

“I am not ruling him out but with it being a hamstring we’ve just got to be cautious that we don’t make that a longer-term injury.

“Steven very much knows his own body, so working along with Jamie the physio we’ll see where we are at later on in the week with that one.”

Lewis Martin is the only Dunfermline player who is definitely out.

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