Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 28th Apr 2022

28/04/22: JH - “Let`s make sure we go and finish it and, with a little bit of luck on Friday, it goes our way."

On the eve of the final league match in the cinch Championship John Hughes has described it as a season that no-one expected and a season that no-one wanted but he praised his players for there still being a fighting chance going into Friday night’s match against Queen of the South:-

“We need to stay positive. We need to keep trusting each other, keep believing in each other, and keep helping each other along.

"Hopefully that will be the case on Friday and the fans will come out in their thousands, a right good turnout, and then hopefully we can go and get that victory - it won`t be easy - and results go for us elsewhere."

What’s gone this season is gone and there is no point on dwelling on it. All the focus has to be on Friday night claimed John:-

"The last time we were at home, although we won 2-1 against Ayr United, we weren`t at our best, so we have to really concentrate on the performance, and get back to those high performance levels. If we do that, then I`m confident that can win us the match.

"The thing about it is there`ll be no pressure on Queen of the South. I`m quite sure that they`ll want to play their part. They`ll come here and play, with nothing to lose, where we`ve got something to lose.

"The reason I`m talking like that is because I want my players to embrace the pressure. I don`t want to walk from it, I don`t want them to stick their head in the sand, you need to embrace it. You need to use that as your motivation to go and have a real, good game individually. Do that, the lot of us, and we`ll be okay.”

Everyone will be keeping an eye on how eighth placed Ayr United are doing at home to Partick Thistle and hoping that the Firhill side has still enough to play for. Thistle would need to lose and Raith Rovers defeat champions Kilmarnock in their final fixture with a turnaround of eight goals in goal difference for John McGlynn’s side to make the fourth place and the Premiership play offs. John Hughes commented:-

"It doesn`t concern me, honestly. Ian McCall`s a good mate of mine but I`m not even going to phone him. He has to do what`s best for his team and his club, and I would do that. If that means resting players for their play-off, then he`s entitled to do that.

"We`re not looking for a favour or anything off anybody else. We`ve had our chances, we had our chance last Saturday, to go and match the result down at Ayr United. We never did it, so we need to regroup and go again.

"If our mindset`s anywhere else, looking at other results or what`s going on, then I`m quite sure we could get our backside felt. Hopefully that`ll not be the case, we`ll be right on it, do the business, and then what will be will be.”

Having courage has been one of the main message to his players and concerned that one or two of them might feeling sorry for themselves, the manager is making sure that come Friday, they are ready to go:-

"We`ll prepare the best that we can and, no matter what, it`s all there for us. Football`s got a habit that sometimes, when you`re not expecting it, it just falls in your lap.

“Hopefully that`ll be the case on Friday, but, I`ve probably been down at Queen of the South, over the last month, more than anything. I`ve been down there three times. I think Willie`s done a a fantastic job. They play nice football, he`s got a settled team, a nice shape to them, and it`s going to be a real difficult football match.”

Asked about his selection options, John said:-

"We`ll have a look at it. We`ll see who`s recovered and who`s in a right, positive mindset. I keep saying to them, and repeatedly, every time you walk through the doors at the training pitch, or the stadium, or anything, the way you walk in, sit and eat your lunch, and the way you conduct yourself, you`re on show.

"If there`s something I see in your attitude, your character or the way you conduct yourself, then you`ll not be in my team. If you`re feeling sorry for yourself, you`ll not be in my team. I`ve been there, and I can tell you, through my own experience, there`s times you`ve been in that situation, and you think that it`s all about you, you, you.

“You don`t really conduct yourself in a great, professional manner, if you feel that you`ve been hard done by. It`s only until years later, when you sit back and look at it, you feel embarrassed, because you should`ve been a better teammate, you should`ve had a better focus, a better mental mindset, a better attitude, a better lifestyle.

"If you`re not, you`re only cheating yourself, or you`re cheating your club and your teammates. That`s what we`ve put to them. Everything that you`ve got, you be the best that you can be. Every small detail and percentage, anything you feel that you need to do - do it, because if you don`t, and it doesn`t go our way, you`ll regret it. Leave no stone unturned to be at your best mentally, and physically, come Friday."

"There`s good numbers to pick from. It`s standing up to what`s at stake, and having the realism to say right, okay I`m up for his, and we`ll be okay.”

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