Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 17th Mar 2022

17/03/22: JH:- “We need to take one game at a time, we want to perform for ninety minutes and if we do that then I think that is good enough to win the football match.

With five of the remaining eight league fixtures this season to be played at East End Park, making home an advantage is now extremely important for Dunfermline and manager John Hughes is looking forward to a large crowd for Friday night’s match against Morton:-

“Friday night’s game with every supporter for a fiver is a fantastic incentive from the club. It is the start of the weekend, hopefully this place will be rocking and we can get back to winning ways.

“We are hoping for good numbers. I have to say that right through from the Chairman to Mo the Kitman, everybody at the club is so supportive of what we are trying to do. There is not a stone left unturned and everybody is playing their part. We are all trying to stay positive and it is a no excuses environment. When it is rocking like it can be, we rise to the occasion.”

The manager has had time to analyse last Saturday’s match against Hamilton and he commented:-

“I always try to be honest in my assessment of the game. I just felt that we did enough to pick up the three points. That is frustrating but the guys gave me everything that they have got. They want to try and do it right, that is not in question but once again I felt it was another two points dropped.

“You take the positives out of it, Hamilton is always a difficult place to go. The last time we went there they beat us, albeit it was controversial. I am seeing improvements but we need to start managing games a little bit better and making sure that the three points are coming back to Dunfermline.”

Since the turn of the year John Hughes has brought in players like Coll Donaldson, Efe Ambrose, Steven Lawless, Joe Chalmers and Liam Polworth and feels that his side has enough experience to see games out:-

“That is the frustration, we do try and coach it but it is part and parcel of football. Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it goes against you. As I say, they are giving me everything that they have got and we never point the finger of blame on anyone - we win together and lose together.

“There is no doubt about it, we need to find a way to go and win football matches. I have said numerous times that I like the game to be played in a certain style but if it was ugly and we nick it 1-0 with a bit of luck, then we will take that and take wins like that from now to the end of the season.

“We all know what is required, it is winning football matches at this time of the year. If that could happen, a win would give us a lift and momentum. We are not too far away. They have never been too far away since I have come into the club. We are under no illusions and not shying away from the fact that it is what it is. To get out of it you need to win games.”

After Donaldson had fired the Pars into an early lead at New Douglas Park the manner of Hamilton’s equaliser is still troubling the manager and his team:-

“I feel for the boys, we have talked about it, Hamilton’s first goal anywhere in World football that goal is never given. To lose a goal like that is really disappointing but we are not here to talk about referees or questioning their integrity, I think their job is hard enough. I’m sure all his refereeing mates will be on to him saying how could you give that? “

John felt it was clear that the Hamilton forward, Zimbabwean David Moyo jumped with his elbow and made sure that he has got in amongst the arms of Dunfermline’s keeper Jakub Stolarczyk.

“If it is body contact then fair enough. In all my time in football I have seen it happen many a time and it is a free kick for the goalkeeper. How the referee gave the goal leaves you bemused. I referee in training games and I know how difficult it is but when it is as clear as the one on Saturday and the Graham Dorrans one the last time at Hamilton, that is a little bit galling.

“I am quite sure that every one of his mates in that refereeing fraternity will tell him you got that wrong.

“It was a test of our character, we had to come in at half time, forget about it and go again. I felt that we did and for the first 25 to 30 minutes of the second half, once again we were on the front foot. We got our penalty, got our goal and they seemed to spook us a little bit and that is when we have to manage the game a little bit better and see it out.”

Morton arrive at East End Park having enjoyed a lift after the appointment of Dougie Imrie as manager with just two defeats in his 12 games in charge but John Hughes hopes to stretch the Pars unbeaten home form to four games with a home win:-

“We just need to dust ourselves down, pick ourselves up and go again. It is what we do, if we are right at it and we keep demanding of each other then we are right in it. That is why we are so positive. Every team in the league is capable of beating each other so there is nothing to fear.

“It is a case of bring it on, looking forward to it and embracing it. We know the challenge, I’m up for this and I think that I have the character at this club that fancies that.

“We need to take one game at a time, we want to perform for ninety minutes and if we do that then I think that is good enough to win the football match. As long as the three points stay in Dunfermline then we have done our job.”

Watch John Hughes interview with Jordan Burt on PARStv

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