Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 14th Oct 2021

14/10/21: PG - “I want to prove how big this club can be — and stop talking about it!

“Nothing would give me greater pleasure than turning everything round and making everyone happy” claims Peter Grant who would like to repay the directors who have stood by him despite not getting results.

“I understand that their responsibility is picking the right guy for the job and I genuinely believe I am that person. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t have turned up to speak to them.

I wanted to work at a club who could possibly win this league and I’ve got an opportunity to do that. But to do that, you need to win matches. I want to do well, not to prove anybody wrong but to prove people right who thought I was the man for this job.”

The manager is also convinced that he has the right supporting cast:-

“I’m lucky to have two fantastic lieutenants in Shieldsy (Greg Shields) and Steven (Whittaker), who are young men but they know the game very well. They have an unbelievable work ethic and professionalism.”

Sometimes it is better to get a view from outwith and from above and Peter has that in Pars director Thomas Meggle, a former player and manager of FC St. Pauli in the Bundesliga and one of DAFC Fussball GmbH, which became majority shareholders in the summer:-

“He has been involved in football for a long time and has been through certain situations and understands things, whether on the playing or coaching side.

“I know how excited they (the investors) were to come into Dunfermline and the expectations here were a big selling point for them. I want to prove how big this club can be — and stop talking about it! The situation is not anywhere near where anyone expected it to be, we know that.”

In the circumstances Peter is also pleased to have the support of chairman Ross McArthur:-

“Whether you are the chairman, or selling tickets, or shifting merchandise, everything will always come back to how the football club does. I take full, sole responsibility for that. It helps everyone else have an easier time if I am doing my job right and getting results.

“You need to remember that Ross is a Dunfermline die-hard. He is a supporter of the club. That is one of the first things I asked him when we were speaking about the job because then I knew that he would be making decisions as a supporter as well as the chairman.”

As Peter has pointed out before that is very important to him and how he is trying to relieve the hurt that he shares:-

“I’ve seen guys at other clubs who have no affiliation — it doesn’t hurt them when you lose. They’ll just chop and change and aren’t bothered. Well, I know how Ross hurts as a supporter when we are losing games, never mind as the chairman.

“I understand the frustrations — there is no getting away from that — and I’d love it to be completely different. Hopefully that starts on Saturday.”

With Tommy Wright’s Kilmarnock the visitors to East End Park on Saturday, Peter is hoping that the fans will get behind the players as they push for their first league win of the season:-

“I have never been one to tell supporters ‘do this, do that’. The only thing I would always ask for is for them to support the players. No one is trying to make mistakes. That’s the be-all and end-all. I know what it’s like as a player. It becomes that bit easier to go close to an opponent so you don’t get the ball and all that stuff.

“I have no qualms about the criticism I am receiving. I’d love it to be the opposite way and chanting my name for the right reasons of course. The only thing I constantly ask for is to support the players. They are trying their damndest nobody tries to make mistakes.

“At the start of the season the fans were really behind the team and excited at watching the team. Unfortunately when you lose a few games and don’t play as well as you can and make errors as we did, I understand their frustrations. We are there to represent them and we are not representing them in a good light at this moment in time.”

The task facing Peter Grant’s side is formidable with five of the next six Championship matches against teams in the top five so maybe just as well that it is a widely agreed opinion that any team can beat any other in this division. Peter reflected:-

“People talk about the ’top five’ and I’ve said from day one that you could put a bit of paper between everyone. I speak to guys at Inverness, the league leaders, and they tell me they could have lost every game, drew every game or won every game. Those are the fine lines.

“There are a few games, without doubt, that we should have won. We had opportunities at important times then make an error after missing big, big chances. I think it’s very difficult to say who the ’top five’ are in the Championship. I understand what the table says, but if someone was to say ‘would you expect that to be the top five?’ Probably not.”

The Pars manager has said many times that he believes players are more than capable of winning every game but they need to perform at their best:-

“I would claim we are more than just top five. I did that at the start of the season but I realise on a bit of paper that is easy. We need to prove it on the football pitch, and try to win matches. That is the only way to get people on your side, hopefully supporting you and go home on a Saturday night happy with your team’s performance and your team’s result. That is what we are all striving to do.”

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