Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 5th Aug 2021

05/08/21: PG - “I said before we were hoping to have a group of around 22 players and I feel as if we are in there at this moment in time.

Next up is a home match against Partick Thistle, a team Dunfermline defeated 4-2 at home on the first day of the 2021-2022 season in the Premier Sports Cup. The Dunfermline manager Peter Grant says that this Saturday’s match at East End Park will be a different challenge:-

“I think everybody knows with these cup ties you are just building as we were ourselves, you make changes for the sake of making changes and give folk game time.

“Patrick have adjusted a bit, brought in Lewis Mayo in and change their system. People talk about games in the past and I have said before history is exactly that, history. It is all about looking in front of you, you cannot do anything about something that has already gone. You can only look at it as a positive, yes we played well through there but remember we could have been 3-0 down in the first 10 to 15 minutes anyway.

“At the end of the day we had to dig in and we had a couple of fantastic saves from Deniz and a couple of bad misses from the Thistle. Then for a period I thought that we were very really really good and could have scored more in that period.

“We know that it will be very difficult, even though they have just come up they will be one of the favourites, it is Patrick Thistle you are talking about! You can see from their recruitment that they will always make it difficult and we will have to play well to get something from the game.”

Peter felt it was two points dropped at Morton but conceded that with time to reflect on a fixture and venue that no teams in the Championship will find easy, one point from last Saturday’s match might eventually look like a good one.

Even though they played well on the day, when you consider the standard that that the team has been setting this season, the first half was disappointing, Peter added:-

“Everything was too slow and I felt that we caused a few problems for ourselves. We looked a bit disjointed and I thought we never really got out of that in the first half - it was just not what we have been about.

“Then to lose the goal the way we did, when you are not playing well you make sure that you make it as difficult for your opponent.

“Every part of the build up to the goal was far too easy. The penalty kick when you look at it back, it doesn’t look a penalty because Deniz had just jumped straight up. The big guy has jumped into him, he has headed the ball and hit the post and you see the Morton fans going to hold their heads in their hands.

“When you look back you think it is a bit dubious that way. At the side of the pitch I thought it was a stonewaller to be fair but we caused our own problems with not enough intensity to stop the ball going forward. Then bad positional play when the ball came into the box, so we only have ourselves to blame for that.

“It gave us an uphill battle but once we got 2-1 in front we should stay there comfortably. With the players that we have we just didn’t do it well enough.”

Although only signing for Dunfermline on the Tuesday before the game the manager had no hesitation in putting Graham Dorrans straight into the side at Greenock.

“He is a terrific player and there are not many games to get him fit. You go through cup ties where you can adjust the team now and again. If we had left him out then we would have been trying to play catch up and it would have been another week without a game.

“Training is great. Training can get a base fitness for you but your match play is completely different. Getting your match legs is different and it was a very difficult game to come into within two days but I thought he acquitted himself very well.

“Once the team was better balanced, you could see his quality, his touch on the ball and his awareness of the game. He gives you that bit of calmness as well, so I was very pleased with him and we know that there is much more to come. Graham will say that himself and I’m sure that he will be a big asset for us.”

The 34 year old midfielder has made 22 international appearances for Scotland at U20, U21, Scotland B and full national level and Peter Grant feels Dorrans has not lost any of his quality and is an important addition to his group:-

“We know that he is a terrific player, his game has maybe had to adjust a little bit but that is what I want anyway. We have a hell of a lot of legs within the group but you need somebody who sees that quality all the time and sees passes.

“You can see that even on the chance that we got late in the game, down in the far corner with the skill that he produced to send Kai away which was great. We can never doubt Graham’s quality but it is just getting up to game speed and the only way that you can do that is by playing matches. There is no doubt that he is a talented boy but we have a lot of talented boys in this squad.

“You have to get the best out of them and to do that they have to play with good players, I think that is always important. Graham knows that we have good players here as well and I think that’s why we were fortunate in getting him.

“I think he sees the players that he can be playing alongside can learn something different from him in certain ways. That was probably one of the selling points for us as well in that he feels he can affect the team and the team can affect him by the way that we try and play as well.”

The squad and gaffer have been given a boost with Ryan Dow returning to the training pitch this week:-

“He has been able to join in with us fully since the start of the week, which is fantastic. He just needs to get his legs again and the feel of the pitch. It has been magic to see him back.

“Young Lewis McCann is now out doing work with the ball now so we are thinking that he is not far away. Now all of a sudden we have just got Iain Wilson and Lewis Martin still out but they are a wee bit longer. They are the only two.

“Ryan will probably not be included in the squad for the match against Partick Thistle because it is just his first full week in training. We will give him that week to gain the confidence of going in, getting tackled, the movement like sharp turns which are completely different. We are absolutely delighted and you can see the delight on Ryan’s face, he has worked his socks off to get back. We are chuffed to get him back because he is a top quality player.”

“Leon Jones will be available for this weekend, all the paperwork has finally come through so he is another one who is in the group. I think that is very important now, as I said before we were hoping to have a group of around 22 players and I feel as if we are in there at this moment in time. We never say never while the window is open. Sometimes you pick up an injury when you least expect it, God willing we don’t do that but if that happens it still gives you that opportunity to refresh that side of it.”

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