Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 27th Oct 2022

27/10/22: JM - “We know the fans will get behind us if we show the desire, the commitment, everything that they want to see of a player in a Dunfermline jersey…

Saturday’s result at Montrose has been dispatched to the record books and manager James McPake is looking forward to being back at East End Park after two away games. He did however pause to reflect ever so little on that first league defeat of the season:-

“They were decent in the game. We had chances, we could have been 2-0 up. It was Montrose`s day on Saturday and fair play to them.

“The boys have responded really well. They are back to being bubbly and training hard. Obviously we were disappointed with what happened at the weekend but, in the overall picture, they`ve been fantastic. I can`t ask any more of them in terms of effort, endeavour, the way they work, the way they approach training and games. Saturday`s gone now and we move on to another tough game this Saturday.”

The manager feels that the Pars home support can play a big part in the new derby against Kelty Hearts:-

“We go again out there in front of our own fans who will back the team the full way, and they know that. That`s probably encouraging them because they know the backing they`re getting from the fans now. They have done all season.

“I`ve been pleasantly surprised with the way the fans have got behind the team because I know relegation is really tough on a football club, and carries that hangover into the next season.

“You need to try and get rid of that quickly, and they`ve done that. They`ve stuck with us in games. I go back to the Airdrie game where Airdrie equalised late on, and they tried to push us over the line that day. Obviously Falkirk came and scored their early goal, and then they pushed us on that day as well.

“We know the fans will get behind us if we show the desire, the commitment, everything that they want to see of a player in a Dunfermline jersey do, which is, and should be, the very minimum that we can offer.”

The players have shown that they can bounce back from defeat at Ross County earlier this season and they need to do it again.

“There`ll be more defeats” warned James. “It`s just about getting the performance level back up, creating as many chances as we have been creating, and being a bit more clinical.

“If we do that, then I believe we`ll get a positive result on Saturday. The Montrose game is well and truly done, and we move on to Kelty, otherwise we overthink, we over analyse, and you`re taking your eye off the ball. It`s full steam ahead now for Kelty coming here on Saturday and everything else that`s gone before is forgotten.”

The first fixture between the sides was a goalless draw at New Central Park, but on the back of them winning three in a row, five in the last six matches, the manager can expect a different type of game from 20th August. He continued:-

“They`re on a good run of form. It will be a tough game, like it was up there. John Potter is a very good coach, someone I`ve known for a while, so I`m not expecting any less a tougher game, and he`ll come down here and try and do what Peterhead did and take something away from the game.

“We`re facing a Kelty team that are on a great run of form so we need to be at it defensively. First and foremost we need to get that right, defend particularly well in our box because they`re a threat from set plays. It`s going to be a tough game.”

Asked for any changes on the injuries front, the answer was “nothing new.” Lewis McCann (hamstring), Kevin O’Hara and Paul Allan are still out.



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