Dunfermline Athletic

Manager post Falkirk

Saturday, 5th Nov 2022

Link to audio of James McPake’s post match comments


- - Listen to this James McPake interview

"A big performance is the main thing” claimed James McPake when he spoke to an unusually large complement of press after the match.

“People will look at it and say it was 1-0 but I think the discipline the players showed, particularly in the first half to work in their shape. John McGlynn`s side are a good side and they play a certain way. I like it, I`ve got a lot of respect for John, I come up against him a lot.

“We came up with a game plan, but it`s fine and well us coming up with a game plan, the players have got to carry it out - and to a man today, for 96 minutes, they done that. They got fully what they deserved out the game, which was three points."

Could it have gone any better in terms of how the players carried out the game plan?

"Matty Todd could have scored and it would have been 2-0 and we`d have had a better eight or nine minutes, but apart from that, no. It`s almost the perfect performance in terms of it`s a set-play you work on, it`s a game plan you work on but we`ve got to remember it`s November.

“The celebrations were good, the fans deserve that, and it`s important we show that togetherness as well. In terms of the performance I think the best team on the day won."

Isn’t it incredible that in the third tier of Scottish football that these clubs are still pulling in these crowds?

"The atmosphere was fantastic. The prematch, during the game and then at the end. It is incredible but we`re here for a reason. Credit to both clubs in terms of what they can do. This holds 8,000 and was full - it looked full today. From the outside it`ll look sad when you are looking for teams in Scottish football that can bring a crowd.

“I believe it will be the third or fourth highest over all divisions this weekend but the clubs have found themselves here for a reason and it`s the clubs` jobs to win games of football and keep going. Thankfully today it was us that got the three points. That was that, we move on to next week.

“Yeah, it`s frustrating because you see the both crowds. A great atmosphere, a great advert for Scottish football, in my opinion, and they way... at 1-0 it`ll look pretty boring but when you watch it it`s a great game to cut and show the shape of a team, I think for us and show the players - that`ll give them great belief. John (McGlynn) will be cutting it to find ways to break us down as well. Could it be in another league? Possibly, but we`re here for a reason."

Was the intention to let Falkirk to have the ball - was it the plan to let them have the ball at the start?

"Yeah - the full game. I don`t think it was so much a counter-attacking game. We had a game plan to show them we were strong in the pitch, which is the middle of the pitch. They`ve got great rotations and when you watch them they can cause you problem because there`s problems the first 45 minutes at East End Park (when the sides met previously) and John McGlynn`s Raith Rovers sides used to do the same.

“We come up with a game plan and I`d love to take credit for the set-play but that was Dave (Mackay) and the rest of the coaching staff because of their (Falkirk`s) zonal approach. We thought it was something we could exploit round the back area with being good.

“It worked, it was perfect, a great goal. For people like Craig (Wighton) and Chris Mochrie that are used to being ball footballers, so to speak, that was fantastic for them. Chris in particular, who is a bit younger, he`s disappointed he`s not in the Scotland 21s squad - as are we, as will Dundee United, I`m sure. But for him to go out and experience that, that why he`s on loan - to experience games like that, crowds like that and to be tactically in a game, switched on which he was. For a young kid I thought he was excellent as well.

“It was the intention. If it hadn`t worked I`d have said `No, the players let me down`. The players deserve the credit. I can say whatever I want, go and do whatever you want. If they don`t carry it out, it`s pointless. So the players deserve absolutely all the credit for that."

How did the crowd impact?

"I think from the start they`ve been with us which was really important because, I`ll be honest, I was a bit worried, you do take the job on the back of that - we know it was a disappointing season and we`ve firmly left that behind. You see that with the fight and the desire to see the game out come the end.

“To get them on board so quickly - and, again, I think the players deserve that. Since they came in we`ve worked really hard. They`ve done everything we`ve asked them to do and they`re showing that fighting spirit to play for the football club and they`ll feel good, the players will feel good, the fans will feel good standing in front of that.

“I`ll apologise to no one for that, albeit it`s November and I`ll continue to say that - no prizes are ever handed out. So if the next question does come, I`ve just answered it there with the radio guys. I`ll no apologise to anybody for taking the players over to the fans and allowing them to enjoy that - because they have been disappointed at times but I think regardless of that, when you bring 2,000 away fans to any ground and you win a game, they deserve to enjoy it. They`ve firmly done that.

“They got us over the line today, no doubt, and this might have been a different game. On the flip side of that when it turns in the second half and you got the Falkirk centre-backs passing it, our fans are quite happy and they`re cheering. I experienced it through the pandemic - people will maybe say I`d have never got promoted (with Dundee) if it wasn`t played behind closed doors. We`ll see what people`s opinion of that it.

“No, look, there`s benefits and whatever, but I think the atmosphere was great today - great advert for the league but great for Dunfermline Athletic as well that we had all those fans behind us. It`s great for the players to stand and feel that as well because that feels good."



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