Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 18th Feb 2021

18/02/21: - "We have got to take confidence from the 4-1 victory earlier in the season.”

For the first time in over a year, Alloa Athletic are the visitors to East End Park on Saturday. Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford is hoping to build on the confidence of two 4-1 victories, against Raith Rovers in the last home game and at Alloa back in October:-

“I was delighted when we got off to a good start through there earlier in the season. We went a goal ahead and Alloa are very much a possession-based team, they have players who are comfortable on the ball and can cause us bother that way. That is something that we will be wary of but what we have got to make sure and do is stamp our authority on the game.

“Look no further back than the Raith Rovers game when we took the game to the Rovers. We must take positives from that. It doesn’t guarantee that we will get a similar performance but that is what we will be trying to replicate. I thought over the course of the season that has probably been from start to finish our best performance so far.

“It will be a different game in terms of playing on Astroturf through at Alloa but it is a game that we are looking forward to. We have got to take confidence from the 4-1 victory earlier in the season.”

After last week’s weather leading to the postponement of Saturday’s home game against Dundee, Stevie explained the implications:-

“We had put plans in place for training if the game was possibly going to be off at the weekend and that ended up being the case. Unfortunately the bad weather meant it was unsafe for boys to travel in their cars, CAT testing was an issue because we couldn’t guarantee everyone was going to get in for that. We eventually got tested on the Friday morning, at which point we knew that the Dundee game was going to be off and we managed to get a couple of sessions late Friday afternoon at the Oriam and then again on Saturday afternoon.

“We got some decent conditioning work and some eleven v eleven stuff as well amongst the group. We gave the boys Sunday off and trained normal since. We have got conditioning into the boys despite disruption by the snow.”

Having brought in Kyle Macdonald, Scott Banks, Craig Wighton and Vytas Gašpuitis, you must feel that you have plenty options within the squad?

“I think what we have done over the January window, which can be a difficult one, we have managed to bring in players that are hungry. Albeit Scott Banks has come in on loan, he is hungry to do well here and help us progress as a football club but also kickstart his career with more first team minutes to go back to Crystal Palace.

“Big Vytas and Kyle come in on hungry. Vytas has come in to a different culture, a different country so it is a new experience for him but he is hungry to do well. Kyle is stepping up a level having has a set back from Motherwell when he never got offered a contract.

“I think it is good traits to have in players, it is good character building and we are adding to a squad that I think had good qualities in it anyway.”

Stevie confirmed that 26 year old Vytas Gašpuitis, who made his international debut for Lithuania against Belarus last November, would be available to play for Dunfermline this weekend but qualified that:-

“Is he where we probably want him or where he probably wants to be in terms of his fitness? Probably not. He is definitely available, whether we decide it is right to put him into the squad at this moment is just something that we will have to discuss later on.

“He is over his isolation period but he was sitting in the house for three days because of the snow. Welcome to Scotland! He said it was minus twenty degrees in Lithuania so the cold will not faze him. It is difficult times, we have just got to make sure that he is getting fed and watered properly. His English is very good and he knows that he just has to ask for anything that we can help him with.”

In terms of other players availability, we understand that Ryan Dow faces a longer term absence with a calf problem and Lewis Martin has still an “on ongoing process at the moment” which is very frustrating for Lewis. Stevie added:- “It is what it is and we will try and keep him in a positive spirit.”

Lewis McCann has niggled his groin in training but likely to be available for selection and Paul Allan got caught on his knee on Monday and missed training on Tuesday. Stevie did not foresee any problems with Paul joining back into training on Friday.

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