Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 15th Jul 2021

15/07/21: PG - “We have good players and when I have changed the system a few times the boys have adjusted well.

The manager is taking positives from the 1-0 defeat to St Mirren on Tuesday night.

“Up until we conceded the goal we did exceptionally well. The disappointment is the way that we lost the goal, we never moved out the box and cleared the box well enough. We spoke about that at the weekend, to clear your box when the ball comes back and when we didn’t do it it cost us dearly. It was a good quality ball into the box but if you leave the striker unmarked in the six yard box you see what happens. That was disappointing.

“But the pleasing thing was right up to 94 minutes we were still trying to get something out of the game, trying to get a draw. The boys were running on empty because we have had to use a lot of them for a lot of games, they have been training a lot to try and get their fitness and they are a small group.

"There is a lot of energy and miles being covered by them. Great credit to the two young wing backs Josh and Kyle. They have been up and down whether in training or whether in the games. I think the fans will love the commitment of the players. You see that with their disappointment at the end of the game because they have not got something from it.

"We don’t want to lose games of football, we want to win games. We are here to try and entertain because the last eighteen months have been torture for everybody. Fans are getting back in on Saturday thank God and we want to give them the commitment that the players showed on Tuesday night.

“You have to leave everything on that football pitch every time you represent this badge. That is what you ask of them because that is what the supporters demand of you. Hopefully we can win more games than we will lose.

“Hopefully we can a bit more quality to add to the squad and when we add that to the squad I think people will start to see what we are trying to achieve. That achievement is to try and win the league.

“I am always conscious that I want to bring in people who can play in the first team. I don’t want to bring in squad players, I want twenty players and be able to look round at the bench and put any one of them on and they can going to affect the team. I think that is so important whether that is in training, whether that’s in games.

“I wouldn’t weaken the team just to make up numbers. We have a lot of young boys here who have done very well and probably more minutes than they expected. As I’ve said if anyone looks at what I have done before I have given sixteen and seventeen year olds (the chance), if they can play they can play but you need help to be able to change it at times.

“When you freshen it you don’t want to drop the tempo. You want to keep the tempo right up there and to do that you have to bring in quality players. We will maybe not have the biggest squad when the league season starts but we want to have a quality squad more than capable of representing this great club.”

Everyone is waiting, some more patiently than others, for Peter to make the much spoken about additions to his squad but he stressed that it was quality rather than quantity that he was after and suggested that having too many substitutes does not develop players.

“When people say that we don’t produce players, the biggest problem for me is that there are too many subs. That goes for every level. Kids at schools now have ten substitutes, why not play two games? In our day you had one sub if you were lucky but everybody played. That gives you an opportunity to see these players, you can’t see them playing if they are sitting in the stand.

“I love players to be playing. Look at my record I am not changer even with subs on the side of the pitch. At times you have to of course tactically but I do not feel that I need to use my subs.

“I am a great believer in having a small but quality squad, if I can do that and I will be delighted if I have twenty outfield players who are more than capable of playing in the first team. I like that camaraderie between the group, they have to fight for each other. As I have said many times the most competitive place for us should be the training pitch. We want them playing against quality every day.

“It will maybe take a bit of time to get that in. Some clubs are just back and clubs don’t really want to loan them out just now. There are certain situations like that and there are other ones that we are hoping will happen over the next couple of days.”

Turning to the injury list that includes Ryan Dow, Iain Wilson and the two Lewis’s Martin and McCann, Peter reported:-

“We have been delighted by the way Ryan and Shuggie have been going. Lewis is obviously going to take a wee bit longer and young McCann we have to watch since he has had a sore groin. He is going to see a specialist just to make sure that everything is okay with him or see if he needs an operation. I would hope at the most that would be between four and five weeks but I’d rather he was fully fit for the rest of the season.”

The manager feels that the players are getting to grips with the way he wants them to play:-

“You will see that we do different things but I would say of football players that the centre half should be able to play at centre forward. They should be able to handle playing the ball, they are football players. I was a midfield player, that is where I ended up but no one ever told me that as a kid.

“If I ended up stepping out for somebody, somebody else filled the gap and played in there. So if somebody runs past a centre forward I expect the centre forward to drop in and play. They should all know each other’s job.

“I don’t say you are a right winger or a left winger, you are a footballer just go and play. You have a balance to the team but play. If you don’t have a first touch and a final pass you cannot play anyway.

“We have good players and when I have changed the system a few times the boys have adjusted well. Now they can see the adjustment when changed during a game. That is the pleasing thing for me. We have had them for four weeks but their effort and commitment to try and do the right thing has been commendable.

“They have given us everything that they have got. I know that we need bodies in to try and help them and hopefully we can get that quality in. I am really really pleased by the way these boys are going about their business just now.”

Turning to Saturday’s opponents Dumbarton, Peter acknowledged that they are a changed team from the one he watched survive in League One through the play offs.

“They had the covid situation last Saturday and they were trying to get other players in. Jim Duffy is away now and the new manager has brought in players that he knows and for the lower league they have made some very good signings.

“I know that it will be a tough game. I have been involved against lower division teams last season with Alloa. Cove Rangers played us off the pitch so I’m always aware of that.

“We played Stenny in a bounce game early in the season when we had a few trialists in and I know some of the boys there are good quality. Thomson and Brown were both with me at Alloa, they are very good players. I know all these groups of players but as a team it is very difficult at this moment in time because you didn’t get to see them play.

“You know me, we go in prepared and respecting the opposition but whoever we are playing we go in to try and win the game. We will concentrate on what we can do well and hopefully that will be enough.”

Peter confirmed that Fraser Currid had joined Dunfermline.

“Fraser is in as a third choice goalkeeper but fortunately he can play every Saturday while on loan to Bo’ness United. He trains with us and is a fantastic young goalkeeper. He has signed from Dundee United but he is a Stirling boy who I had at Alloa last year.”

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