Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 1st Dec 2022

01/12/22: JM - “We will make sure that we are fully prepared for the threat-set that Queen of the South will bring to us.

Dunfermline manager James McPake is conscious that Queen of the South come to The KDM East End Park on Saturday having won four of their last six league games. He told the website:

“Wullie Gibson is another young manager who has turned it around and I’m delighted for him. You want to see them do well but obviously not this weekend but it will be a tough game again.”

In September the Pars defeated Queens 2-0 at Palmerston with first half goals from Nikolay Todorov and Rhys Breen and James recalled:-

“I think we were pretty dominant down there, we have had a lot of good performances but that was one of our most controlled performances of the season I would say.

“They had a great win away to Edinburgh which we all know is not an easy place to go, as loads of teams have found out or an easy team to play against like we found out when they came here - we needed a late winner against Edinburgh. So that showed a lot of character from Queen of the South. They will come up here looking to win but we want to continue on the run we are on and keep it going.”

Will Queens come like others and try and contain Dunfermline?

“I’m not sure after what happened down there when they did try that. We found space in areas of the pitch where we could hurt them. On that day Kevin O’Hara and Chris Mochrie were excellent and we played through the thirds of the pitch really well.

“They might come and press us a bit higher but whatever the game plan they come with we will shift the emphasis to ourselves. We will make sure that we are fully prepared for the threat-set that Queen of the South will bring to us. We need to play with the freedom and the same intensity but also keep that real work rate up.”

The manager judges games on his team’s performance despite every game being gauged on whether you win, lose or draw.

“Of course you would take a bad performance and win, that’s when your head goes into overdrive. You go through that bad performance to see where we went wrong. It is weird saying it but it’s not just about the three points - you can win 1-0 or win 2-0 and still think that we didn’t play well there but watch the game back and feel that you were okay. You can comfortably win 3-0 and when you watch the game back you are annoyed because you think that you could have done a lot better.

“You weigh up every game differently and for me over the course of a period of time it is the consistency in performance that helps you. We look at it one game at a time so it is one performance at a time and we believe that if we get the performance right we give ourselves the utmost chance of winning the game. More times than not that has happened this season.”

Giving an update on his injured players the manager revealed that Lewis McCann is back training on grass after sustaining a serious hamstring injury against Clyde:-

“This was his third day, he is not joining in with the boys yet but he has done all his end stage gym work now. He is now pitch based rehab and we hope to have him back training in the next couple of weeks.”

James views signs of a Lewis McCann return to playing as an early Christmas present adding, “he was vital at the start of the season. He scored some important goals but it is not just that. His all round play is a threat to any team even in the divisions above. He is quick, he is powerful, he is good in the air and presses with real intensity which we love as everybody knows. We are delighted to be getting him closer but we will be patient and get him right because we want him for the rest of the season.

“It was a frustrating injury because he was just on the pitch and to be fair to him, he was a vital part of the team. He would start games or he would come on and make an impact like all the strikers have done, they have all played that part and all been equally important.

“When you look at the goalscoring charts you will maybe not see our strikers on there but when you do you see what they all bring, and I include Kevin O’Hara in that as well, what they bring to the team individually and collectively if there are two of them playing together or three of them playing together that has been massive. All four of the senior ones have been excellent.

“Kevin is not too far behind. Maybe by new year time we will have Kevin back playing. That will be another massive bonus - a player who has proved it at Championship level and a player that I have tried to sign for a previous club.

“The unfortunate one is Paul Allan who has had surgery but now we know the bone is surgically fixed then he has peace of mind from that. Barring complications we are looking at January.”

Look out on Friday as James McPake gives his opinions of the football that he has been watching at the World Cup

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