Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 1st Sep 2022

01/09/22: JM - “We are still unbeaten, we are proud of that and we want to go down and get another positive result after two draws on the bounce.

Speaking at lunchtime on transfer deadline day, Dunfermline gaffer James McPake commented on the possibility of imminent signings:-

“We are hopeful, there is a lot of work going on in the background, like probably a lot of coaches and managers will be sitting saying at this minute. It has been a weird strange window, there has not been a lot of movement but we are hopeful.”

There is scope for loan signings beyond today’s deadline and James speculated that might be the reason for what seems a very slow activity during this transfer window:-

“I don’t know how much that is affecting it, it probably is to a degree with the Championship clubs being able to bring in loans after today as well. Obviously the cross-border stuff has to be done, we know that but domestically they might be looking and saying ‘we have another month’ and that is what is holding things up.

“As I have said I have been looking for an answer as to why it has been so quiet for most clubs. We know that there are a few who have done a fair bit of business but it has been a strange window.”

Turning to Saturday’s away League One match against Queen of the South he confirmed the thoughts of most managers who take teams to Palmerston Park:-

“It will be a tough tough game, it is always a very hard place to go. I think that they will there or thereabouts come the end of the season looking for places at the top end of the league along with the team we faced last week, Airdrie.

“I thought they were very good but we are still unbeaten, we are proud of that and we want to go down and get another positive result after two draws on the bounce. We want to try and put that right but we are under no illusions how hard that is going to be down there.”

Everyone has just about got over the disappointment of the Airdrieonians match last Saturday and the Rhys Breen finish in added time that was ruled out by referee Grant Irvine, James said:-

“It is hard to take. You can normally gauge it off the reactions of players -that gives you a very good insight. I’m standing 60 yards back so it is tough for me to see. Even though if it was a foul, I am still going to celebrate because you think it’s a goal but when you see the reaction of eight or nine players go that animated towards the ref, you kind of get an inclination. I got straight on the radio, was it a foul? Whether that is good or not, you still get an answer - no.

“In a way you wish it was a foul and you could maybe understand it. Refs are humans as well, they do make errors in judgement or they make a judgement call. They don’t have the beauty of watching it back. We were very unfortunate in the regard that we put in a number of throw ins, corners and crosses into those areas. We were deliberately working on not fouling a goalkeeper.

“We know how protected they are and I feel that sometimes you get punished for what you can do. If you have someone with a left foot like Charlie Adam who can put the ball anywhere you want but you are telling him to keep it away from a goalkeeper. Or you have a long throw like Josh Edwards’ who can throw it as far as he wants. You are picking areas to keep it away from certain people to protect them when really all you want to do is go and challenge fairly which happened.

“It was a good goal and Rhys Breen should have walked away with the winner and a great victory against Airdrie. It wasn’t to be. They had chances in the game as well that they will look back on and say that they should have taken them.

“I think it was a decent game, a great game for a 1-1 if you were a neutral but we were disappointed not to come away with the three points.”

Josh Edwards throw ins have become a feature of recent matches and it’s a weapon that the manager is delighted to develop, he revealed:-

“It was just a question that we asked and he said that he could do it. I played with Aron Gunnarrson at Coventry who famously threw it in for Iceland’s goal against England. If you get the chance it is another corner if you want to use it. That is not to say that we will do that all the time. I think he did take one short for Chris Mochrie to put the cross in. We will mix it up but if it’s there we will certainly use it and get the big lads up. It is another way of attacking a team and if you can put it in there it is like a corner.

“I think refs need to realise that as well because I’m sure if that was a corner that the goalie was coming for that you maybe don’t get it. It is a tough one, so you are fighting against ’do you do it’ hoping that the ref doesn’t spot a foul or do you just play it short. I’m sure it should have been a goal and it should have been three points.”

Reporting on the status of Kevin O’Hara who was forced off early in the second half last week, James said Kevin had got involved on Wednesday and did the full session on Thursday and so he is expected to be fine for Saturday.

He also hopes to get Craig Wighton back in training with the group next week:-

“His knee is settling in really well. Credit to the club all his results have gone to Mr Williams in England, he has looked at it and given us a programme. We had to get Craig’s knee right, that’s what we are doing and so I think by the end of next week he will be back in with the group and he will need a week.”

Above: Paul Allan and Craig Wighton against FC Edinburgh

Mr Williams is a knee surgeon who James knows from personal experience:-

“He is the best and we wanted another opinion. It is great that the club did that for him, it gives Craig the peace of mind, me and the medical staff the peace of mind to carry on his rehab and know that we are doing our best for the player which is important.

“Paul Allan is still progressing but if he is at the game he will still be in a moonboot for the weekend. It is healing but it is a bone thing and we are being extra cautious with it. We don’t want to get so far and then he breaks down and we have wasted three, four or five weeks whatever. We will be careful with it.”

Livingston U18 v Dunfermline U18
Friday 2nd September 2022, kick off 8.00pm
Almondvale, Livingston

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