Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 15th Apr 2021

15/04/21: SC - “For the first time this season we find that we are relying on results from other places but if we win the games that we have got, then we will give ourselves the best opportunity to get into the play offs.

The end of the season is approaching and Saturday’s fixture at home to Allan Johnston’s Queen of the South is the first of the three very important remaining matches. Stevie Crawford revealed that there is disappointment in the squad that they are not winning games but they all know that taking three points from games is going to be important between now and the final day of the season on 30th April. He is aware that disappointment does not overwhelm:-

“It is my responsibility to make sure that doesn’t fester in these three games and not give ourselves the best possible chance to win them. I think that they are winnable fixtures.

“I said after the Raith Rovers game that I thought that there has been a positive in terms what I see from the boys on the training ground and from what I have seen in the matches, the Hearts game, the Ayr game and Dundee game. The disappointing thing is that we have drawn all three of these games.

“We know what is ahead, we have got to win games of football now to give ourselves the best possible chance to get into the play offs.”

Stevie summed up his take on his team’s last three games:-

“We have created chances, I don’t think that we have managed to score goals from the chances that we have created. A clean sheet against Hearts - the team that won the league, a clean sheet against Dundee who have been free scoring all season. We went down to Ayr and collectively we were disappointed with the goal that we lost after going ahead early in the game.

“We got off to a great start to the season and our Achilles heel has been our away form. On another night the result against Dundee would maybe not look as bad as it maybe is at the moment. I am disappointed that we have only taken a point, I thought it was a game that we could have won.

“We can only look ahead to the three fixtures that we have left and we have to try and take as many points from these games as possible.”

The truth is that a maximum nine points could still not take Dunfermline into a play off position but Stevie is willing to accept the challenge to win these three games, whether that changes his approach these games that is something for him to weigh up before they take on Queen of the South who themselves could make the play offs with wins over the Pars, Ayr United and Dundee if other results went in their way.

“Needing victories rather than draws will mean that over the next day or so we need to look at it. We have just got to start winning games but that is not any different - we have not been going into games looking to draw games.

“I think these are three games that are winnable but they are very very tough games. We know what we need to do. The result this week against Dundee was not what we were looking for but I can’t be disappointed with the effort and commitment that the boys showed. They were tested defensively, they had to dig in at spells.

“I thought in the first half that we created chances, even a couple in the second half but not enough to force them under enough pressure to go on and win the game. It is just that belief that we will turn the corner and try and get into these play offs.”

There can be little criticism of not having enough attacking players on the park but Dundee restricted Dunfermline to very few chances. He explained the role that he had handed Craig Wighton starting wide right:-

“I brought Craig Wighton in to play as a striker but sometimes you have to do what is right for the team. I felt that Craig’s tactical awareness of the game, there were things that he did in the first half that exploited Dundee. He maybe just didn’t get the ball enough but we have got to try and get boys on the park who can score goals as well.

“It is trying to get that right balance between getting your creative players on and also allowing us to get a foothold on the game to have the concerted effort that creates opportunities.

“There are going to be twists and turns, I can assure you of that over the remaining three games. We are disappointed, nothing more than that, not to take three points from the game against Dundee.

“For the first time this season we find that we are relying on results from other places but if we win the games that we have got, then we will give ourselves the best opportunity to get into the play offs.

“I would be disappointed if I heard my players say that we never went into games trying to win games all season. It is such a competitive league and there is no room for error.

“The bigger picture is we want to get into the Premiership or we want to be in the play offs fighting at the right end of the league. That goes with the job.

“Dunfermline is a big club and that is the responsibility that I have got on my shoulders. After a really good start to the season we are going through a sticky spell just now but what do you do? Do you feel sorry for yourself or look at the next game? That is all that you can do in football.

“You look at the next game and say that we want to take all three points and then address it from there.”

Stevie said it was too early to know if any of his recent absentees - Scott Banks and Iain Wilson - would be available for the Queen of the South game.

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