Dunfermline Athletic

Manager post Falkirk

Tuesday, 7th Mar 2023

07/03/23: Link to audio of James McPake’s post match comments

- - Listen to his James McPake interview

It was a very pleased Dunfermline manager who spoke after the 2-0 home win over Falkirk:-

"Overall we got a wee bit caught in between in the first half - where we should press, where we should allow them to have the ball, without really getting hurt in the first half. I wouldn`t say we were overly happy, the players weren`t overly happy. It wasn’t a case of going in and going mad. It was just telling them to play with a bit of freedom and go and get after them - because when we do that we know that we can affect them.

"Second half, we were excellent. It only counts how many goals you score. We won on corners as well, that`s a double then. In terms of the atmosphere, we had to come out and we had to have a go at them. First half, it`s a bit of a boring game, the only real bit in the game is Chris Mochrie`s shot. The only bit that got our fans excited.

"Second half was much better, much more like us and it`s a good three points. It started when Joe Chalmers takes the risk and plays it round the corner - an excellent bit of football. We hit them on the break. He takes the touch and breaks the line with not playing safe.

“When we won the ball back in the first half we were playing too safe or giving it straight back to them. It`s hard to be critical of them in the first half because it`s what we asked them to do. We just weren`t getting close enough or the gaps were too big. Whatever it was I don’t know but I wasn`t surprised by the reaction. When we are on the front foot we are really mobile at the top end of the pitch.

“We showed that and I thought Matty Todd was outstanding in the second half. He epitomised everything that we wanted to happen on the second half, just get after them. Chris Mochrie to be fair did it as well. The freshness came on Kevin was excellent, Lewis was excellent and getting Gowser on at the end when the game was done, to take the sting out of it and show his experience. Yes I’m pleased with the reaction but it’s three points and we move on to Saturday.”

You almost expect a performance like that out of Matty Todd?

“Yes that’s the standard that he has set. He has now played a lot of football, we were thinking last week possibly too much for him but he just showed tonight that I don’t know what I’m talking about. He was excellent second half, really energetic and he got his goal, it was a great assist from Wighton. Was the first one over the line?

“Big Breeny is a threat. I did say that setplays would be crucial tonight and that proved it. It got us going, we had other chances -Wighton’s chance was a really good piece of play from Matty Todd again. Then there was Matty Todd’s one where the goalkeeper pulled off a really good save. Second half you could see why they are on such a good run.

Memorable night for the fans?

“We had to make sure of that, regardless of the result. We had to give the fans something to cheer about, whether it finished nil-nil. We had to get them off their seats. It was the biggest crowd in a decade in here and the players deserve all the credit for that.

“Even when it’s four or five thousand in here, they come every week because they know those players give everything on the pitch. They don’t stop running, they get after teams and keep going to the end, even when they’re down in games. The players deserve the credit for that because they are the ones that had to had to come in after last season on a bit of a downer obviously after what had happened. A lot of them are still here, so to pick themselves up so quickly is fantastic.

“They work hard every single day and give everything for this football club and that’s why the fans are coming back in. We know we need to keep doing that and we hope to get big crowds in.

“That’s excellent, it’s great to manage in and coach in. You wish you were playing, actually in that atmosphere. That’s when you miss playing more, with big crowds and under the lights. The players deserve the credit for that in my opinion.”

Eight points is a big gap?

“Tonight’s a great three points. The gap is what it is. It could have been two tonight but it could be eleven by Saturday but standing in front of us is Peterhead who came here and showed us exactly what they can do. Not the last game, the game before when they were here and we drew that game after being in a very good position. It is not an easy place to go to. We’ll enjoy tonight, of course we will and then recover tonight and tomorrow.

“You enjoy going home from a game like that. The adrenalin is high and there was a buzz about that game. You couldn’t hide from it, the demand for tickets and everything. It felt like you were playing in a really big game. We tried to take as much of that away as we could but you have to be realistic and tell them it is a big game. They had caused it by being so good.

“The gap is what it is and we hope it’s more on Saturday but if we keep worrying about a gap then we’ll take our eye off the next three points and we could become unstuck really quickly. We still have a lot of good teams to play with nine to go between now and the end of the season so after tonight and tomorrow everything is on Peterhead which is a really tough place to go to.”

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