Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 21st Oct 2021

21/10/21: PG - “I just want to get back to winning games of football.

Partick Thistle have won just two of their last six matches but those two wins saw them shoot four past Ayr United and hit Hamilton for six. Peter Grant watched the most recent Thistle win at New Douglas Park last Friday night and just wished that it had been a Dunfermline side raining in the goals:-

“I loved to sitting here with us having scored six. I know that there are good players in every team in this division, nothing surprises me when I go to watch the games because you know teams are capable, if they play well, of big performances and big results. If you are not at your maximum that is capable of happening to you.

“I have been there before myself so I know how difficult it is and I’ve been on the opposite side when you are winning like that. You just think that it has been one of those evenings.”

Peter conceded that Ian McCall’s Thistle team earned their impressive win shown live on the BBC Scotland channel and they worked really hard against a Hamilton team that tried everything.

“It was just one of those games for Hamilton. They made one error they got punished and it constantly happened. We have seen that ourselves so many times, if you make an error they have people who can punish you. They have proven that not just on Friday evening but throughout the season so far.”

So can Dunfermline return to Firhill and repeat their opening day of the season win over Partick Thistle?

“I am confident with this group of players going anywhere because I think we have a squad of players capable of winning games of football anywhere. I need them all fit of course and all playing at their best, with and without the ball. When they do that we are more than capable of winning games.

“I was at the game on Friday evening and they played very very well. They are a team that is playing full of confidence, winning matches and obviously scoring goals. We know how tough a game it is going to be. We knew that anyway but we don’t want to start the way we did here in the league game.”

In August Thistle were two up at East End Park before the midpoint of the first half and went on to win 3-0. In July’s Premier Sports Cup match the Jags warranted their 16th minute opener but the Pars came back to lead 3-1 at half time

“We could have been two or three down in the cup tie and ended up winning 4-2 and we could have scored six or seven. They are a very well organised team, they have a great structure around about them and it is showing in their results and performances.

“I know they go into Saturday’s match on the back of a fantastic result but we go there on the back of a good performance. We have still not got that victory that we have been striving for but it is a game that we are really looking forward to because I think it is two very good sides going head to head. There are match winners in both teams. The team that makes less mistakes will be the team that will come out on top, there is no doubt of that.”

Dunfermline have drawn four and lost six of their last ten fixtures but recently things have looked more positive with only one defeat in the last five matches. Is that first league win nearing?

“You have to go and earn it again. You have to earn every single scrap that you get in this league. It doesn’t come to you easy, it is such a difficult league with everybody fighting each other for the same thing and the same points at the end of it.

“You have to play at your maximum near enough every week and make minimum mistakes. We know that we are capable of it but we know have proven that we have not been able to do it so far.

“There were shoots at the weekend, the all round performance was better and I think that we have more guys available. It is probably the first week when we have had a lot of guys together on the training pitch. That has been difficult, sometimes we have had eight to ten players out of a big squad being able to train maybe the first two days of the week and the rest of the guys being able to join in only on the Thursday and Friday.”

Centre back Vytas Gašpuitis earned his ninth international cap for Lithuania when coming on against Switzerland but was only back in Dunfermline in time to face Kilmarnock and he was forced off in 86th minute. Peter explained:-

“Vytas has not trained for a couple of days. We’ll monitor that over the next couple of days. I’m not sure if it’s fatigue more than anything else. I think he only played four or five minutes out of the two Lithuania games.

“I know what it’s like at international level if you are not involved — you sit in the hotel room, eat food, train for half an hour then it’s lots of travelling.

“It was difficult for him. He was supposed to be back a day earlier but was held up because of paperwork and they weren’t allowed to fly out.

“I felt it was important to keep that group together at the back who had played over the last few weeks. However, Rhys Breen was coming back and we put him on because we were concerned over Vytas. That was proved to be the right decision.”

Asked for updates on long term injured, Iain Wilson and Lewis Martin, Peter replied:-

“Lewis is getting there slowly but surely, he is progressing that is the biggest thing. Each week he is getting closer but he has not been able to join in with us yet.

“Iain has been training one day on, one day off, one day in not because of the injury just to make it settle down again. We do not want a reoccurrence because of the type of the injury, it is just the loading that we have to be wary of. The pleasing for me is that I’m starting to see Iain involved with the players more often than not. Hopefully he is not that far away from us calling on him.

“Obviously the big disappointment is that we have not had any games. We have not been able to put friendlies on because we never had enough players available. That would have been good for the likes of Iain, he could have started getting 45 minutes. He is getting closer all the time.

“He is a talented boy, I know what Iain can do. A fully fit Iain Wilson could be a be big asset for us, that is what I’m striving for, to get all these boys fully fit, hopefully they can push each other to get the performances and the victories that we are all so desperate for.”

A home derby against Raith Rovers follows on next Tuesday but Peter stressed how he likes to remain very single minded in respect of the next game being the most important:-

“That is how I will always look at it. Derby matches look after themselves. I know how much it means to the supporters, I know how important it is to the players.

“I have played in many of them, I have coached in many of them and they are something special. We want to bring it back here on the back of a victory. We want to go to Thistle and win and then face Raith here and try and win that game. That is the way we look at it, that is what we are striving to do - win matches.

“Nothing is better than if we can put a double header together of victories. It would be fantastic because it is taking in your local rivals. It is what the supporters love to see and your players love to see, it is what I love to see and want to do because I just want to get back to winning games of football.”

Peter talks to Jordan Burt on ParsTV

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