Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 3rd Mar 2022

03/03/22: JH - “This club will need a lot of heroes between now and the end of the season

Feeling that his side should have taken three points from last Saturday’s match against Kilmarnock, manager John Hughes claimed that there were a lot of positives to take from the match in terms of the clean sheet and the second half performance.

“We should have won it with Efe Ambrose hitting the bar and it was fine margins, it was a close game. We played some really nice stuff in the second half and I keep going back to needing to put it together for 90 minutes. That is what we are trying to work to, that is the standards that we are trying to set at the club.

“I think everybody can see that we have a real committed bunch of boys there and all credit to them for coming out and putting in that second half performance to try and make sure that we picked up the three points. On another day it could have been the case.

“We just need the rub of the green. Obviously we were playing against the title favourites but I have said on numerous occasions, no matter who you are playing against in this league, everyone is capable of beating each other. If we can up it that little bit and carry a bit more luck then you will be picking up more points.”

The clean sheet was the first in senior football for keeper Jakub Stolarczyk but the manager has not been surprised by the way the young Polish keeper has performed:-

“First and foremost he came highly recommended. Once we did our due diligence on him, a couple of the guys said don’t even wait - hang the phone up now and do it. These were a couple of guys that you trust in the game.

“He got pushed our way as well as Kasper Schmeichel helped us. His maturity as a young man and his mental thought process and his mindset is well beyond his years. It has been hard for him, it has been very very difficult because no doubt coming from a great club like Leicester City and working in that environment with other goalkeepers and the work that they will get, is probably different from what he gets here at Dunfermline. We don’t have the luxury to have five or six goalkeepers.

“Talking to him and listening to his answers tells you that he is right up for it. It is not a problem for him, it is a mental test for him - he is here to play football matches. If he keeps doing what he did on Saturday then we will be well pleased.”

Hughes is also taking positives out of the way his two new central defenders, Coll Donaldson and Efe Ambrose, played against Kilmarnock:-

“Efe was the same as Coll and Lewis Martin when they first came, they needed the four or five days a week training with a couple of hard days in there. They needed looking after, getting stretched, getting massaged, getting game time and everybody benefits.

“When I look back to my experience as a player, even in pre season where you are working very hard to get your fitness levels up, I still felt that I needed four or five pre season games, maybe even more than that, before I was right at it. You take that all into account and put it together.”

Looking ahead to player availability for the trip to Arbroath on Saturday, Aaron Comrie is back after serving a one match ban, Nikolay Todorov is available and Leon Jones has been missing with covid but due back.

“The only injury is Bobby Kamwa and we are hoping that he can get back and maybe be available for the subs bench on Saturday. You can really see he is starting to settle in. I was watching him on the training pitch and when he is doing the ball work he has not a problem but when the straight running comes, it is a problem.

“He has a problem with the front of his foot just at his ankle. It must be hard for him but it is great to see him in amongst the boys. We saw him in that practice match against Falkirk, that is why we signed him. He has come up from Leeds and he gives us something different - he knows where the goals are - I think you saw that when he got his shot against Ayr United. He could have won us the game.

“It is frustrating that he has not played but there has to be an empathy that we understand it takes time settling in. I am quite sure that he will be as frustrated as well that he has not come up here and hit the ground running. There is still plenty time for that.

“He can play in a number of positions. He is not an out and out left winger, he is a centre forward as well, an on-the-shoulder centre forward. If we can get him back he will give us competition for places in a number of positions on the pitch.

“This club will need a lot of heroes between now and the end of the season and Bobby could be one of them.”



Watch John Hughes interview with Jordan Burt on ParsTV



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