Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 7th Apr 2022

07/04/22: JH - “They are going for the league, we are trying to win games to stay in the league, all the ingredients are there for a cracker.”

There is nothing like two resounding home wins to boost the fans support but John Hughes claims that he feels a “connection” with them and that has been building for some time now. He admits that he would have loved to have bottled the passion he witnessed at a recent dinner and expose it his players

“Don’t ever question or worry about the fans at Dunfermline, if we give them something to sing about, they will play their part. That is evident to me, you can feel it.

“At the Dunfermline Black and White Ball there was a prize of a dinner for twelve with Jim Leishman and myself in the Boardroom. We had it last week, there were a few beers and a few wines. Myself, I was teetotal but the stories were coming out and we were there for three and a half hours.

“The laugh, the stories and the history that all these supporters had. If the players could see that and see the passion that these guys have. It affected me when I went home because I saw it in those supporters and what it means to them.”

The manager is not advocating players dining out and drinking red wine but some of the laughs and the tales about European nights, some of the trouble that the fans got in, going to games and not getting home, demonstrated their love for the club:-

“What it does is bring it home to you what it means to them. A real passion for the club. I wished my players could have been there to see that. We can reward them by doing what we did against Raith Rovers. Hopefully we can keep winning football matches.”

On Saturday Dunfermline are away to Kilmarnock and that is going to be the toughest of the remaining four league matches:-

“We are playing against a Kilmarnock side that is going for the league. They have been very close games, I think Del has done a great job down there. He and his team know their way about. It is fine margins, but I am hoping that we can go down there, give them a game and Lady Luck shines on us.

“I don’t fear for us. Any team seeing the way that we are playing will know that there is going to be a game. I am hoping that will be the case on Saturday.”

Playing together in the same league for the first time in ten years Kilmarnock have drawn twice, both times at East End Park and won 2-1 at Rugby Park eight weeks ago. John Hughes agreed that the games have been good and swung to and fro:-

“I am expecting the same on Saturday. We will rest up and in every game from now until the end of the season, be it against teams at the bottom of the league or teams at the top of the league, everyone is capable of beating each other.

“They are going for the league, we are trying to win games to stay in the league, all the ingredients are there for a cracker.”

The Dunfermline Athletic team will take a boost from the Rovers result but the manager stressed:-

“That one was for the supporters, we know what the bragging rights mean. I am feeling a connection, I really am. What we need to do is to get consistency, something that we have been searching for since I have come in here. There has been real good stuff but I want that week in week out from now until the end of the season.

“Kilmarnock are a whole different ball game. To go down to Kilmarnock we are going to have to be at our best to get something.”

As far as player availability is concerned, John revealed a few had problems:-

“We have picked up a few knocks, not on Wednesday, but in terms of Rhys Breen with a thigh strain, Paul Allan has a hamstring injury and we are still waiting on Graham Dorrans (pictured above) . Hopefully they will be back in the next week or two.

“Graham has a calf problem and he is sorely missed. We are doing okay but trust me, we miss Graham Dorrans. I would want him at my disposal and have the headache of finding a place for Graham Dorrans in my team.”

The on loan Liam Polworth (pictured above) is not available for Saturday’s fixture against his parent club and the gaffer described him a massive miss.

“He is a good footballer, he is good on the ball, he needs to be better off the ball. We will come up with some other idea. Somebody else will come in.

“Dom Thomas has found himself back in the team, Ryan Dow has found himself out of the team and it has been like that. They have been good supporters when they are not in the team so if it is not Poly somebody else will come in. I have got every trust in them.”

Any chance of any insider information from Liam Polworth?

“Honestly, whatever he tells you, do the opposite!”

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