Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 20th Jan 2022

20/01/22: JH - “Inverness will not be coming here in any shape or form to play as underdogs. They will fancy their chances coming here to win the game.

After the result the previous week Dunfermline manager John Hughes felt that it was extremely important to record a win over Hamilton Academical on Saturday. Delighted with the 1-0 victory he paid credit to his players for showing character and courage. There was more aggression about the team on Saturday but even still, John claimed there could be more:-

“I think that we are the most passive team in the league but I did notice that fundamentally we were trying to do the right things. Like I said after the game, we don’t cross it enough, we don’t shoot enough and we don’t create enough chances. That wasn’t the case on Saturday and clearly that is what we have been working on in training.

“To win football matches you need to get the ball in the box and have shots at goal. That was the case on Saturday and on another day we could have scored another couple of goals. As long as we are picking up the three points then we are more than happy.”

There was game management to see the game out with Steven Lawless taking the ball towards the corner flag and Matty Todd taking a yellow card in added time with what most would call a professional foul. The manager agreed:-

“It is seeing the game out, knowing the dos and don’ts when you are just trying to kill the game. All credit to them for doing that. We still gave away some stupid free kicks that brought pressure on ourselves.

“Ever since I have come in here it has been work in progress and you can see it getting slightly better every week. In the second half on Saturday I felt that we sat back too much which is understandable but every week we have to be at it for the full 90 minutes and it’s going to have to be like that from now to the end of the season.“

Next up it’s the visit of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, a team that sits second in the league. The manager is looking for just the second back to back wins in this league season but is very conscious that he is up against a good Inverness team.

“They will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season and we are going to have to be at our best to make sure the points stay here in Dunfermline.”

“I have said many times, every team in this division on their day is capable of beating each other. That goes from us at the bottom to the top team, I think that will be the case on Saturday. If you are at it and you carry a little bit of luck then the three points will stay in Dunfermline.

“Inverness will not be coming here in any shape or form to play as underdogs. They will fancy their chances coming here to win the game. They have to try and do that if they want to win the Championship, so it will be game on on Saturday and I’m looking forward to it.”

Saturday’s fixture has been re-arranged after rain caused East End Park to be unplayable on the night of 29th December. The postponement has meant that crowds which could not attend back then will now be able to be present after the lifting of Scottish Government restrictions on crowds. The manager was pleased that East End Park can welcome back all the Pars fans:-

“Even the 500 on Saturday made a massive difference so we are delighted that they are back. I just think for Scottish football, we have had a hard two years and football has suffered. I am always respectful to all the families who have lost loved ones through the Covid pandemic. When you look at that football is secondary but it is great to have supporters back and have them right behind the team.

“It is up to us to go and entertain them. They pay their money to get entertained and support the team, so let’s not disappoint them.”

Graham Dorrans was only back in training one day before the Hamilton match so he was on the bench.

“Even with the runs after the game we have to be very very careful after Covid. He has been building it up this week and he will be available for selection.”

Good news is that Dom Thomas is on his way back after knee surgery and the gaffer ended with an update on his 25 year old midfielder:-

“He is doing very very well. He is doing a lot of hard work, it is like a mini pre season that he is doing. He would tell you that he is feeling great but when I watch him running he still has that wee limp but he is pain free. I noticed this morning that he was out doing more dynamic stuff - stopping and starting on the ball. He is probably another couple of weeks away.”

Manager also spoke to Jordan Burt for ParsTV

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