Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 17th Feb 2022

17/02/22: JH - “At home you have your home support and they’ve played a massive part since I’ve come in, they’ve been vocal, they’ve been supportive and it’s up to us to try and reward them.

John Hughes looked back on last Saturday’s reversal in Kilmarnock and pinpointed the need to play from the minute the whistle goes until the final time:-

“It’s been a problem since we’ve come getting that full 90 minute performance. I suppose every team is looking for that. I suppose it was until we scored the goal and then we sat deep and gave the initiative to Kilmarnock.

“When we score a goal and we feel we’re in a good place, we have to manage it a lot better. It’s something if you can learn from it you will be better for it, it’s a hard lesson to take. For us fighting for our lives and them going for the title I don’t think there was much between the two teams.

“Maybe us scoring against Kilmarnock released the shackles from them, that’s what football does. You need to be concentrated and mentally tough. It is really difficult to rehearse what is going to happen or put yourself in that situation at 1-0 up, but usually experience and experience of what happened on Saturday should put you in a better place.”

The manager repeated his claim that the effort and commitment that he is getting from his players is not in question:-

“Some of the football we’re playing is very, very good. I just wish we could keep that going for 90 minutes, we could kill teams off and we could manage it a bit better. It’s easy saying it but doing it is another thing.

“On Friday we will be playing against a good team in Partick Thistle who will want to come here and pick up the points. Kilmarnock did that on Saturday. You cannot win them all but from what I saw on Saturday we had a real chance of picking up the three points.”

After three matches away from home Dunfermline return to East End Park and although he believes it’s 11 v 11 no matter what he does appreciate the backing there:-

“At home you have your home support and they’ve played a massive part since I’ve come in, they’ve been vocal, they’ve been supportive and it’s up to us to try and reward them. Even on Saturday I don’t think we let them down, we let ourselves down, that’s what we did. We’ve all signed up to it to try and keep clean sheets as a team and that’s the disappointment.”

Next that disappointment needs to be taken into the next game to try and take the three points that the Friday night fixture would allow the Fifers to go level with Ayr United and just a point behind Hamilton Academical and sixth placed Morton:-

“You concentrate on the process and that’s your next opponents. We know where we are, we are where we are and we have put ourselves there and only have ourselves to blame. We have a great chance of getting ourselves out of it and the only way that we will do that is winning football matches.

“If we play the way that we are going to play, then we will be there or thereabouts. I have also said in many many of an interview, and from what I’ve seen, that we are under no illusions of where we are. But everyone is capable of beating each other in this league, we just need to look after ourselves.

“There is no point in worrying about what other teams are doing, look after ourselves, concentrate on the process knowing that what we do for ninety minutes is good enough. Trust each other and go and implement it.”

Aaron Comrie had only picked up two* yellow cards in his 92 appearances for Dunfermline then went and collected two in the one match at Kilmarnock on Saturday. The manager described the sending off as a bit of a blow:-

“That was disappointing, I thought the first booking was a little bit soft. It is the first time that he has been sent off. Again there is no point in moaning about it, you just need to get on with it. Somebody else will have to come in and hopefully earn man of the match. We have one or two waiting on that opportunity so no matter who it is, they will get that chance.

“We can play a different shape and have one or two who can play in there so we are well covered in that defensive role.”

The manager is hoping that Efe Ambrose can make an impression with the Pars fans on Friday night:-

“He brings a wealth of experience, he is an honest lad and that game under his belt will help him massively. The boys are really taking to him and it is a game under his belt that he probably needed. He has been training really well and we have been working him at training and he will better for it. Hopefully come Friday he is another one who can put in a Man of the Match performance.”

Finally Dom Thomas was described by John as “very close” but his question has to be where to play him:-

“He has only really had one practice match since coming back. He is training very hard and you can see that he has the hunger to get on the pitch. He is not too far away.”

*Aaron Comrie’s previous yellow cards were both against Raith in October 2021 and March 2021. Online records show a card at Inverness in December 2019 but that was actually shown to Ryan Dow.

John Hughes also spoke to Jordan Burt for ParsTV

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