Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 30th Jun 2022

30/06/22: JMcP - “I know I say this every week, but we`re working extremely hard to recruit.

Ahead of the closed doors game against Stenhousemuir on Saturday, James McPake was pleased to report no fresh injuries or concerns following the friendly matches against Cove Rangers and Forfar Athletic:-

“Everybody trained well this morning, we had a horrible running session for the players this afternoon. Apart from that they are all good. They have done well so far and worked really hard. It will be the same tomorrow, it is pre season and the games are just part of getting conditioned. We have not gone into a game fresh yet, there is time for that over the course of a season but at the minute results aren’t the most important thing in the games.

“To a man they have been excellent so I cannot applaud them enough for the effort they have showed so far but it is still pre season. It is about getting to a level and them pushing themselves to a level that they maybe didn’t know that they could go to. I will treat the Kilmarnock game the same way, it will be the final friendly of pre season. Then we go into the Premier Sports Cup.

“We will ease back a little on Sunday and then play Kilmarnock which will be a good test for us against Derek (McInnes) and Tony Docherty’s team who have just been promoted but first and foremost we have got Saturday against Stenhousemuir.”

The team has been free scoring and collected clean sheets but these are not the most important thing in a pre season claimed James:-

“Whether it is table tennis or whatever you are playing, you want to win. We need to build that into the players and they need take a lot of credit as they have been fantastic since the first day that they have come back.

“They have worked really hard, I am sure that they have all done hard runs, we are not trying to invent anything but maybe showing the younger ones that they can go to a different level. I have spoken before how I saw that in Craig Wighton in the gym during rehab and he knows that he has different levels. It is about showing that on the pitch, which he has.”

Questioned on the possibility of any new faces joining James’ first team squad, he confirmed that he would be hoping to use the loan market because it`s a market that has been beneficial to him before as a manager:-

“Beneficial to this football club at times as well. It`s something we`re looking at.  Rangers and Celtic are just starting back as well, so when you`re looking to get players out of those clubs, it`s tough because the managers need them in pre season. Like ourselves, we wouldn`t put anyone out just now, so you can`t be too greedy.

“You can`t be a hypocrite because if I`m saying it`s bad that they`re not doing that, I`m doing the same and maybe players that might go out on loan they`ll go out on loan when we feel we`re ready and the squad`s thick enough that we can cope with it.

“I know I say this every week, but we`re working extremely hard to recruit. It`s tough because if you look through the leagues the amount of clubs that have got new managers. That makes it harder to get other players in. If you are looking to (Premiership clubs) to utilise the loan market, Dundee United with Jack Ross they started on Thursday there. So Jack`s going to want to look at all the players.

“At Dundee you`ve got a new manager, so Gary Bowyer is going to want to look at all his players. Hibs, in Lee Johnson have got a new manager, so he`s going to want to assess his full squad. We`ve come in here, it`s a domino effect. If you look at Kelty, they`ve got a new manager. So John Potter will be in there and looking.

"What you need to do is focus on what you have and - one get them as fit as possible, and two, just keep working hard to strengthen, which we`re doing."

In the meantime James has been impressed by the five youngsters who recently stepped up from the Dunfermline Athletic academy:-

“That is credit to Greg Shields and all in the academy for that. The ones who have come in and trained with us have not looked out of place. Shieldsie gave good advice on who could handle training with the first team. Everybody who has come in has shown commitment. These kids don’t give you a headache, it is great if there is a young boy who is training harder and looking better. Then if we think he is a better option, then we will play him.

“I have been delighted with them. They are just starting their journey, it is a young squad that we have got here but I have been pleased with them all.”

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