Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 31st Jul 2014

Jim Jefferies' only experience of playing against Annan Athletic is a pre season encounter when he took a Kilmarnock team down to Galabank.

"They have a good set up down there, they only just lost out last season and came close to being in our league. They got beat by Stirling in the play offs but they will be no mugs."

JJ has received a report on how Annan performed against Hearts in last Saturday's Petrofac Training Cup and he summarised:-

"Hearts got off to a tremendous start, battering them early on and just couldn't live with them. They conceded three goals in twenty minutes and it all went a bit flat after that. They never gave up and scored a good goal. At the end of the day it could have been a lot worse for them."

The Manager claimed that no cup ties are taken lightly instancing results in last Saturday's Petrofac Training Cup first round:-

"Stenhousemuir went out to Brora Rangers and Albion Rovers beat Airdrie who finished the second part of the season as the form team. It is about what you do and how you go about it.

"It will be different from last week when we were supposed to be playing a team above us and now we are playing against a team in a league below us but we will still give it the same application, the same mind set."

Despite last Saturday's team not actually playing Jim Jefferies did not rule out making changes for the visit of Annan.

"We have got to think about Tuesday night (against Raith Rovers) and we have a good squad of players. There were one or two players who were on the bench who have benefitted from another full week's training.

"The closed doors game on Tuesday was a good exercise. Jonathan Page was on the bench on Saturday because he had a virus all last week; he played most of the game because at the back it is that bit easier. Thomson, Forbes and Wallace all got an hour which helped their match time and they did well.

"It was a good tight game and when we went down to the last half hour, twenty minutes we had a complete team of younger kids, they did well as well."

Asked how close Ryan Wallace was to being fit the manager replied:-

"I see a big difference in him this week regards the way he is running. He has been out for some time but he is only a couple of weeks away now of being at his sharpest. I have not decided who we are starting upfront. Moffat will certainly start but after that we will have to wait and see."

Jefferies was in no doubt that the decision to call off the cup tie against Raith was the right one but that caused great frustration for players and fans alike. He did feel that it was good that the fans could see for themselves that there was a lot of hard work put in to attempt to clear the surface water:-

"It was just a freak rainstorm and they appreciated when they saw the referee bounce the ball, there was only one decision he could make. Everyone was in agreement with him. The frustrating part was that it was all set up for a good game, it was glorious right up until the downpour."

He did comment on the draw for the second round of the Petrofac Training Cup:-

"If we can get through this round, we would play Falkirk in midweek and that's another good incentive for both clubs. Raith are in the Championship and Falkirk are in that league too so it does not make an easy road for us. At least we are getting drawn at home which helps the club.

"First and foremost we want to be in the second round of the League Cup. We have got to deal with Annan and make sure that there are no shocks.

"We will expect a hard game; they will be well organised and at Tynecastle on Saturday they showed a lot of spirit and determination. They are a part time club so we need to up the tempo of the game, not let it get dragged down and make the fitness tell. Getting through to the next round is the most important thing and I don't mind how we do it."

The Pars gaffer is well aware of Annan's main threat and confessed that Dunfermline had shown interest in Kenny Mackay.

"We thought he was joining Morton, it seemed the obvious choice for him, so it was a bit of surprise when Annan convinced him to stay. We will need to keep an eye on him because he is a big strong boy and he has something about him. Hopefully we can deal with him and keep him quiet."

Asked if he was any closer to signing another striker, JJ laughed and replied "very close".

"We have had a look at someone, I have not had him on trial as such but I have seen enough and will have to back my judgement on this one. We do not have a lot of time to hang about because the boy has offers elsewhere."

Jim Jefferies commented on the dearth of pre season friendlies:-

"It was difficult this year, we couldn't get the games at home because the way the two cup ties and the first league game are all at home. It was difficult to get games but I do not see that as a problem. We play in training all the time and it is high tempo.

"We have had Hibs, Berwick Rangers and other games like Rangers. In pre season you only give boys 45 minutes to an hour anyway. From what I see of these boys on training that is not going to be a problem.



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