Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 25th Aug 2022

25/08/22: JM - “It is one that we are looking forward to, they will be looking forward to it as well and it is a chance for someone come ten to five to be top of the league on their own.”

Dunfermline Athletic manager James McPake addressed the media at lunchtime and although just four matches into the league campaign said that he had to be happy with the start that his side had made. The Pars are unbeaten and are the only team in Scotland not to have conceded a league goal but face formidable opponents this Saturday when the only other unbeaten side in League One are the visitors to the KDM Group East End Park. He commented:-

“Airdrieonians will be happy with the start that they have made as well, so it will be a good game. It is one that we are looking forward to, they will be looking forward to it as well and it is a chance for someone come ten to five to be top of the league on their own. It is an incentive this early in the season, but nothing is going to be won or lost on Saturday and of course we want to get a positive result from the game.”

The manager insists that every league fixture is tough and claimed that you need only go back to last Saturday’s match at Kelty for evidence of that:-

“Everybody knew Kelty had only scored one goal and hadn’t won a game but I sat here last week and told you just how hard a game that was going to be. They are going to pick up points, pick up wins and they will be okay in this league in my opinion. It’s just my opinion but they are a team that is used to winning a lot of games of football.

“Airdrie are used to that as well. They had a great run last season and were very unlucky (not to come through the playoffs). Every game is really tough but we will just focus on this one.”

James acknowledged that the Diamonds manager, former Pars player Rhys McCabe has done a fantastic job since taking over from Ian Murray:-

“He is another young manager so credit to him and probably extra credit to the fact that he is playing as well which must be tough.”

Despite nine goals in four league games McCabe has been lamenting his team not converting chances, a complaint shared by his Dunfermline counterpart:-

“I can certainly say on our behalf that we have been wasteful in front of goal but I’m delighted with the amount of chances that we are making in terms of our overall play. I think it has been really positive in creating those chances.

“Defensively as a team they deserve a huge amount of credit. That is not just Deniz Mehmet and the back four, but as a team they deserve a huge amount of credit because to get four clean sheets in a row at any level is great. We want to make it five, it is a big ask.”

Airdrieonians as the league leaders are not expected to come to Dunfermline to sit in, defend and try and frustrate the home side. James was agreeable to the suggestion that it is one of the games that he liked because Airdrie are going to come and try and win.

“Every team wants to win games of football but when you strip it back a wee bit, teams come here to try and stay in the game and try and win it late on. Airdrie are going to come here with a game plan to attack us from the first minute and try and win the game and like ourselves be top of the league at the end of the game. They will have ambition to have a good season.

“It is not disrespectful, I have been a manager of a team that has had to go to places and suck up a lot of pressure, you do that and you do win games doing that. My very last game in charge at Dundee I won at Tynecastle doing that. We had three chances in the game, two of ours went in and something like eighteen chances for Hearts and only one of theirs went in.

“I am not having a go at the other teams like Alloa who came and frustrated. Montrose to a degree came and frustrated but Airdrie won’t do that, they will come here, come and attack and play their brand of football that they believe is the right way to play and they get a lot of joy from doing that.

“Rhys has had a good start to his managerial career and in the Premier Sports Cup they had a good win against Premiership opposition in St Mirren. They are unbeaten in the league this season, like ourselves. They have their beliefs, we’ve got our beliefs and I think that it is going to be a good game.”

The manager gave an update on Paul Allan (pictured below) who has been out since the trip to Meadowbank Stadium three weeks ago:-

“He is doing okay, he will not be ready for this weekend but he is progressing okay. We are missing him, he was doing really well and I was enjoying working with him. Getting injuries is part of football and he is still gym based. Maybe at the start of next week we will get him outside and then hopefully accelerate that process.

“Graham (Dorrans) is now at very end stage stuff. He is striking balls, jumping, landing on that ankle. That is where we are with injuries, everybody else is okay.”

With the transfer window closing in seven days was there any news of any signings?

“We had a question and answer meeting last night. One of the questions posed was about lack of signings and to be fair I took a bit of blame on that for being extra picky on what we are wanting.

“We had a very good deal agreed with a club last Thursday and the player knocked it back on the Friday. I was hoping to have the player in the squad on the Saturday but the player has the right to do that, it was a loan move. That could still be in the balance and we are hopeful on that one. That is now with the player after being agreed between the two clubs.

“There are now seven days to go so we will see what happens over the next seven days, I am still hopeful of getting that player and see what else we can get in the building.”

James added that he felt the fans Q&A session held in the Purvis Suite on Wednesday evening was really good:-

“That is the second one that we have done. I believe it was full to capacity and it was very well run. I think it is really important that we engage with the fans and we are truthful, honest and open.

“Kyle Benedictus was there and it is important that you are getting a different view from the players’ side. David Cook was there as well and Drew Main made it open to any question. We were not manipulating it in any sort of way, it was open, there were difficult questions and difficult answers. That is the way that it has got to be but we are where we are as a football club, we need to get better at certain things and I feel that we are improving at certain things as well. The interaction with the fans was great, it was a good event.”



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