Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 8th Dec 2022

08/12/22: JM - "We can put a team out that we believe can go up there and put a positive performance on.

On the eve of the Fourth Round tie away to Arbroath, manager James McPake reaffirmed his commitment to the SPFL Trust Trophy:-

“We took it seriously against Celtic B, it was a very good game. Every friendly, every game, every pre season game we have taken seriously, so we are under no illusions Arbroath will be taking it just as serious. It is got the makings of what should be a good game.”

Arbroath’s home form this season has not yielded good results but James will not be ignoring the fact that Dick and Ian Campbell and Rab Douglas will be in the opposing dugout:-

“I have not come up against this team before because there have been a lot of changes since the last time I faced them but they are still as experienced a management team as you get in Scottish football. They are really good people but that obviously stops for the 95 or 96 minutes however long the game is. You don’t stay in the game, don’t do what they have done easily.

“Rab had a wonderful career as a player at Dundee, Celtic, back to Dundee and Scotland. What Dick and Ian have done as a management team throughout their careers has been fantastic. I must say that I was slightly gutted for them last year. Although I really like Tony Doc and Del (at Kilmarnock). I would have loved to have seen Arbroath pull off what everybody thought was the the impossible dream. They were very unlucky.

“This season Arbroath have not hit the heights of what people expect of them now because of what has been happening. I know how hard it was to play against them when I was in the Championship for a couple of seasons. They were really good and they will be okay. They have signed some good players but we are going up there to try and win the game as well. It will be a good test for us.”

Could this be a match that Arbroath will see as a chance to kickstart their season?

“When you strip it all back it is another team that has a chance to go and win. One of us will advance to the next round of a cup and I’m sure that will be the way that they are looking at it. It is hard at times whether you are on a good run, a bad run or an indifferent run of form then in my opinion, it is hard to single out a game and say that’s where we will get it right, or if we don’t win this it will all go wrong. I have never really had that as a player, I never believed in that as a player.

“I have had heavy defeats, I have had great wins at certain places and the same in the coaching and management side. From our perspective it is another game that we want to go and perform in, perform well. By doing that we believe that we can get a positive result but so will Arbroath.”

On loan players Kane Ritchie-Hosler, Robbie Mahon and Chris Mochrie (pictured above) were cup tied in this competition before they came to Dunfermline so the team will change from that which started against Queen of the South. James commented:-

“It is the same for a lot of clubs in this competition but that’s nothing that we will worry about, it’s nothing Arbroath will worry about. I’m sure that we have enough strength in that squad in that we can put a team out that we believe can go up there and put a positive performance on.

“Would we love to have had Chris, Kane and Robbie available? Yes, but we would have loved to have had Paul Allan, Lewis McCann and Kevin O’Hara available as well. That’s football, you deal with these circumstances that you do come across throughout a season.

Above: Lewis McCann and Kevin O`Hara celebrated v Buckie Thistle

“It’s a different competition, away from the league and like the Scottish Cup when we played Forfar a few weeks ago, the league just gets put to the side for this weekend. The only task ahead of us is Gayfield and Arbroath.”

The manager confirmed that apart from the three long term injured, there were no other injury worries. Kevin and Lewis are progressing and have been running together.

“We are pretty strong even without those, Arbroath will be strong without the players that they have missing as well. All the focus will be on Dunfermline Athletic and we are comfortable with the squad that we have got at the minute.”

The match is in competition with the televised Netherlands v Argentina game where the two countries will be battling it out for a place in the semi final of the World Cup but James is sure that his team will take a good following to the Angus coast on Friday night:-

“Sometimes maybe this cup goes under the radar, we had a decent enough crowd here against a Celtic B team. All credit to Celtic B and Darren because they brought a fair crowd that night. Any time our fans get to see us go and play away from home they enjoy it. They love coming here of course they do, this is the history of this football club, this is where we are most comfortable and where we want to be at our best. We want as big a crowd as possible but I’m sure that there will be a crowd following us.

“The beauty of technology these days means that they could possibly sit in the stand and be watching whatever game is best or both them at the same time! I hope we take a decent crowd up there on Friday night but regardless we will give it our best shot.”



James also spoke with Jordan Burt for PARStv



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